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HARVARD 

COLLEGE 
LIBRARY 



^ 



AUVKSn 



V 



POEM S// 




BESSIE RAYNER PARKEi 



^rconb (tbitiou. 



LI8.SARY 



FEB 6 



^LO N DO N ; 
JOHN rilAPMAN, 
s, KING WILLIAM STKKKT, STRANM». 
Mi»r« ci.v. 



; a. 












ijuMw)x : nti!«Tr.» RT w. ftnwRti Airi> m»n», fTAMronD in'iirrr. 



tiriiicutcb 



BARBARA LEIGH SMITH. 



If 1 ill luitist ol vuuth ?bt>ul«l tlic. 

With tlKiu, beloved, to bold ni« dtrar. 

And all my fiiriin^ inifiit.-* should lie 

Like williiT'd coni-hliul'?. br«'« n uiid xti'. 

Hlowrii d<»vvn ill s|»riii^-tin)c of tin? year, 

<»n lufflttl bopc and vi>i(tii ltrok<ii 

WtTO Iieatb's «brk |»all uiiiiin«'ly tbr«jvvii. 

Wer«* uiy familiar luiiu- iiiL<'i>ok«rii 

By loving voi<-#^ s»v.« ihine own,— 

In tbAt dark day my pT»*.tte>t ^t^l•ll^tb would !«• 

I 'lutintr my vul oii «io«i. - »n_v i/t»rJt «»♦ thr*. 




CONTENTS. 



I'age 

The World op Art 1 

The Death op Evax Lloyd 8 

The Dead Love 13 

A Dream ! . 16 

Song 19 

Song 20 

Voluntaries 22 

For Adelaide 26 

LoxDoy Streets 28 

Recogxitiox 30 

Two Artists 32 

Dreah Feahs 34 

Warning 30 

Death the Knciuclkk 37 

MVSTERIES 3«J 

The Moors 41 

A Ballad of Smuggling Days 40 

A Carol for Willie 50 

Christmas comes but Once a-yeau .... 53 

New-year's Eve and New-year's J) w ... 56 

Summer's Song 57 

Uastikos in April 59 

Stoneleigh 61 



VI CONTENTS. 

Kexilwortii 63 

Maush Flowebs 65 

Soya 66 

Bbiuniscences 67 

Soxo 69 

With Fbhcroses 70 

The Old Wateb-coloub Exhibitiox .... 71 

The Alps. Thusis 72 

Chiavekxa ov a September Etenino .... 73 

The Plains of Lombahdy 75 

Giotto, Da Vixci, Titian 77 

UoHE TO Ekolaxd 78 

The Highlands* 79 

The Cathedbal 80 

Tiiuee Sketches fob Picttues 83 

The Desebted A'illaoe 86 

To AX AUTHOB WHO LOVED TltUTH MOKE THAN FaME 87 

London fbom IIampstead Heath .... 89 

TuE Wayfakeb 93 

The Watch in Heaven 95 

The Clocd-face 97 

Rest ... 98 

Life's River 99 

The Evidence of Thi.vgs Unseen .... 101 

"Life is ocb Dictionabv."— Eiiicr>H>i» .... 103 

Mrsu 105 

The Expebience of All Men . . 106 

England and Hungary in 184'.) 107 

The Last Home 109 

Mary 110 

Two Scenes or Infancy Ill 



CONTENTS. 








VII 


Page 


GlOKQIONE AND ViOLAXTK 113 


The Poet's Defence 








. 115 


Mr Old House .... 








. 123 


Earth's Question 








126 


The Reply op the Faibies . 








128 


Riding Song 








130 


The Teaching of Cornelius 








132 


Little Sarah .... 








134 


The Old Palace G-abden 








135 


To Birmingham 








137 


To Elizabeth Barrett Browning 








138 


To Elizabeth Blackwell, M.D. 






, 


139 



SUMMER SKETCHES. 

Lilian's First Letter to Helen .... 143 

Lilian's Second Letter 156 

Helen's Answer 176 

To a White Oxalis 183 

The Duke's Funeral 18<> 

Thoughts on God's Acre llHi 

The Ballad of the King's Daughter i«j2 



POEMS. 



THE WORLD OF ART. 

Inscribed to A. M. 11. and all true Artists. 



Thou that wouldst enter here, 

Hold thy breath inward with an holy fear ; 

Put oflf thy shoes, thou in this place wilt see 

The outward sjTnbol of Di^^nity ; 

And so much of the mystery of things 

Ajs man may fathom with the light he brings : 

A faint and flickering light, which can biit show 

Tlic dim imcertain form of all we know ; 

Yet ever and anon shall fire from Grod 

Flash on the Artists as they humbly plod, 

lie veal ing more than knowledge ; the}' must write 

With firm recording liand the momentary' sight. 

Thou that wouldst enter here, 

FaHhion thy being with an art austere ; 

Leave thou thy bitterness of heart behind, — 

I>eavc thou the wretched questions of the mind, — 

Take of grief only such as, inly worn. 

Hath grown incorporate, a blossom*d thorn, — 



2 THE WORLD OF ART. 

Take of love only such as, nursed in prayer, 
Serves to thy spirit as an altar stair, — 
All base ambitions see that thou forsake, — 
All the bright armour of a Christian take, — 
'I'ui-n thy face forward ever, cast thy lot 
With saints and martyrs, and repent it not ! 

'I'hou must be open to all influence, 

Whether of bmin, or heart, or soul, or sense. 

Than must have nerves more subtle than the strings 

( )f that m^'sterious haiii which sobs and sings 

Tudor the elements, yet hold the sway, 

Sunuuon and master dreams which shall not i>ass away. 

He humble in inteii)reting the light. 

Like some clear window undisoem'd by sight, 

Siivu in its boundaiy arch, too sadly small 

For that clear gloiy which might lighten all ; 

Yft confident as one who holds a torch. 

And con(|uers darkness in a midnight church 

For some small sjiace aix^und; be faithful, true. 

As one who, standing mider heaven's blue, 

Sofs tnily all things visible — far skies, 

And the fair flowery earth that near him lies, — 

And givos them truly Imck, nor fails to know 

Moix* noble those alM»ve than this below. 

Oh Artist! »Sculptor! !*oet ! go thy way 
With far nnjre trembling care than others may ! 
Thou art anointed to as high a place. 
Wilt thou but know it, as a man may gnu^e. 
(tivut is the lot assigned thee, great the task 
As 4.«ven the most heroic soul dare ask ; 



THE WORLD OF ART. 

Great be thy heart to meet it ; it demands 

A watchful spirit and untiling hands. 

Not thine alone the burden and the care, 

Not thine alone the duty and the pmyer, 

All earth prays with thee that thy hands be pui-e, 

Thy work untainted and its teachuig sm-e. 

lie who pi-ofanely touches thhigs divine, 
Carving base cups for sacramental wine ; 
SiK)iling each sacred, sweet, and tender thought, 
Hnnging all natural gifts to woi-sc than nought. 
Wringing the heart of matter forth to show 
What c(»ar8C and sensual meanings lurk l»elow: 
< )r rather ti*aiiing his own evil mood 
Over till* innocent beauty God call'd good ; 
l*lacing on all he fingers such a mai'k 
As proves his iimer soul defiled and dark ; 
Sings tlK' had song our fallen hearts reheai'se, 
An<l sjKiuls liis blessing to ixjcord the curse. 
'I'hat Iw was Ixim is sori'ow ! IJke a blight 
Is All's false i>riest, he ilarkens all our light. 
Tic* ]M)isuns wliat were else uur healing springs. 
And easts a shir on all must h(»ly tilings. 

Oil far fn»in all who laKnir and who pniv, 
lii' suth an awful visi^m swept away ! 
I^otter U* ]K risli iis the jMMir field flower, 
Wliieli lives its K^autiful imeonseious hour: 
I^'tter to 1m^ that grass whose roek-sown blades 
I'tterly wither ere full suiniiier fades ; 
Better to live unknown and die unwept. 
In darkest, humblest tdiades of nature kept ; 

K 2 



4 THE WORLD OF ART. 

Better to know no hope, no power, no love, 

No gi-ace of earth below, nor heaven above, 

Better the darkest doom can fall on ns, 

Better to have no life than use it thus ! 

But to the watchful eyes and praying hearts 

Of those who nobly sought and used the Arts, 

Whose very names all noble things suggest, 

What shall Earth give them ? Lo ! they stand confessed 

The intellectual kings of Man. Oh ! more. 

Ten thousand times more bright the crowns they wore 

Than any kings of Men ; 'twas theirs to be 

Prophets and poets of the mystery ; 

They bore the brightness and the diadem 

WTiich lie who call'd them ser^'ants gave to them. 

Calm are the nights, and happy are the days, 

Of those who sing His love or paint His praise ; 

For them this glorious world reveals her sign, 

The mystic warrant of her birth di>-ine 

ITnseen of duller eyes ; for them are bom 

Fresh fomw of beauty every eve and mom ; 

For them is nature but a shadowy veil 

Of that wliite Throne l>eforo which suns are jiale, 

And the light blackness : clearly they discern. 

And nobly render all the truths they leam. 

Being wnth truth infused ; happy is he 

Who cannot measure what he strives to be ! 

O world of Art ! O Shrine 
Wherein we treasure all we hold divine. 

How art thou blest I 
\Mioeo is wear)' in thin world of care 
Finds in thy presence a iK^qx^tual prayer 

And patient rest ; 



THE WORLD OF ART. o 

Finds a reminder of those things which bide 
When we and all our phantasms drop aside 
Into the gulf of death, a hope sublime, 
A realm unfading set apart from time. 
Did the great heart of Faith itself decay. 
Were Cross and Church and Altar swept away, 
Thou from thy treasury couldst that faith restore. 
And light the Lamp of Sacrifice once more. 

Oh thou fair world of Art ! 

From whence my soul would never fain depart, 

But dwell up there and be 

Numbered amonp; that goodly company, 

Xo tint of whose bright freshness can decay. 

Nor any silver utterance die awa}'. 

There lives whatever in past time lK*fel, 

niere all that Sagas or that Epics toll. 

All the great deeds that thrill a nation's heart 

l.ive, bright and deathless, in the Wi)rld <»f All ! 

All beauty ever dreamt, all faith, all h<>ixs 

Hath there a glorious kcojx) ; 

All of heroic, exciuisito, or splcndid,- 

There Haffaelle walks a king with all his ]m« is 

attended ; 
There the grand Sibyls sit, in wIiohc daik eyes 
('n»ation's unix^deemed promise lies. 
And thundenms pro])het8 of gipmtic mould 
Wail us degenerate fn»m the days of old. 
Tliere the fair woman of Venetian prime 
Glows as when first she unveilM her faee to Time. 
And l>ade him 8]>are that l)eauty fn»ni the tomb: - 
He gave her Titian, and revei*Re<l the d<M>m ! 



G THE WORLD OF ART. 

Our heavenly types, who move in sacred story, 

Cast on the threshold a diviner glory, 

And from one central figure, as a sun. 

Streams of the heavenly radiance earthward run ; 

Cradled on lilies as a Child He lies, 

And sleeps amidst a chorus of the skies,* 

Or waxes £air beside a Virgin's knee. 

And walks in thoughtful prime by Galilee. 

Many are there we know. 

Who visit us in dreams we love them so, — 

The gi-acious poet and the stem-eyed saint, 

And martyra whom no flame could cause to faint. 

Maidens and youths whom love did bind in one, 

(Tliat golden thread which doth through ages mn,) 

Pale matrons mourning in their widow weeds, 

And ba1)es whose promise spoke far more tlian deeds. 

Ah thou fair world of Art, 

From whence my soul would never fain deiwirt. 

Thy skies are ever gi*and ! 

lliey cast th<' sliadow of immoiial glo<iui. 

Or glow and throb with su|»eniatural bbnim. 

And o|H5n infinite viKtas to the enchanted land. 

lliy broad transiiarent river n»ll8 along, 

.\nd ever}' ripjile breaks into a song ; 

On the gri»en iNinks, where liappy lovers go. 

The g<ilden np]>leH grow. 

And the fair fabulous birds of ancient tale 

Warble their magic music without foil ; 

While winds that tremble round thy ))eaks of fire 

luring down rich echoes of the angelic choir. 



THE WOULD OF ART. 7 

Ah tliou fair world of Art ! 
Happy are they who dwell in thee apart, 
Who, being dead, yet live and cannot die. 
In bless'd and blessing immoiiality ; 
Happy all bred in thine ethereal air, 
And all deem'd worthy of translation there ! 
Happy the meanest sei-vitor who waits 
Humbly exjiectant of thine SLvrhiL gates, 
llion ! nobler conquest tlian a world-'wide thmne, 
Who dost with more than royal sway enrich thine 
own. 



( 8 ) 



THE DEATH OF EVAN LLOYD. 



Evan Lloyd, Evan Lloyd ! 

The sun is sinking in the sea, 

The fishing-boats have homeward ploy'd. 

Come home to me, come home to me ! 

The 8upiM3r warms upon the hearth, 
The pine-fed blaze is flashing higher. 
Sleep stops the noisy children's mirth, 
And Skye lies growling by the fire. 

nie thoughtful mother seeks tlie door. 
Then, ever patient, sits and sings. 
The sea-gulls on the neighlwuring shore 
Cry loud and flap their heavy wmgs, — 

Or round and round the ancient place. 
Fringed deep with tufts of i)endent feni. 
Fly with a melancholy grace. 
And chorus to the cr>'ing hem. 

What dreadful nimour fills the air, 
As soft as silence and as deep. 
Like the dumb utterance of des^iair. 
Or that dark fear we feel in sleep r 



THE DEATH OF EVAN LLOYD. 

From mouth to mouth the surmise spreads. 
From face to face the hon-or flies ; 
The mother asks that news she dreads, 
And reads the answer in their eyes. 

Oh what a crj' which rose to heaven ! 
And gave articulate voice to that 
Which all unspoken knew, and even 
Each outward thing was jx^inting at ! 

For hints of mysteiy seem'd to lurk 
In twilight ocean's stealthy roll. 
The shadow of the mountains murk 
To brood above some struggling s<»ul. 



Evan Lloyd, Evan Lloyd ! 
He swims >vithout a thought of fear. 
A thoiisand times and undestroyVl. 
The water calm, the shore so near. - 



Ah ! some strong cmTcnt suck'd him <l(Avn. 
And drew him on with giant breath. 
And Evan turns an upward frovm 
In pitiful response to Death ! 



The 8upi)er wanns upon the health. 
Wide open swings the heavy doov. 
Grey darkness falls on sea and earth. 
But Evan Lloyd comes home n<» nior<* ! 



10 THE DEATH OF EVAX LLOYD. 

Get out the boats, — the moon is fiiU. 
And glistening like a magic glass. 
The August waters beautiful 
In sofUj welling currents pass. 

So softly seem those waves to flow, 
Controll'd by some m^^erious charm. 
What evil strength can lurk below. 
What hoiTor fraught with deadly harm ? 

Get out the boats, bring spike and n»|H'. 
Come rich and ^loor with eager eyes. 
Each moment steals a Winter hope 
From that chill sleep in which he lies. 

Tlic slow|>aced moon which momits tlie sky 
Each moment measures out despair, 
A curdling murmur ] masses by 
And lingers in the silver'd air. 

So cahu, 8<> fair, mt m»ft a night 
The summer gave us not before. 
Nor any moon like that whose light 
Saw Evan Llovd return no more. 



Lo, morning breaks ujwn the grief, 
Broad lie the sands beneath the sun. 
In dawn's C(K)1 stilhiess, all too brief, 
The seawai-d currents swiftly run. 



THE DEATH OF EVAN LLOYD. 11 

Broad lie the sands, the sea recedes, 
The precious moments swift employ. 
Thro' the salt pools and matted weeds 
Go search for that ill-fated boy. 

Ah ! say -within those rolling sands 
Has Evan found a nameless gi^ve, 
Whom many, hearts and many hands 
Xor many prayei-s availed to save ? 

The crawling tides come in apace, 
Then ebb to seaward as before, 
But none shall see the boy's pale face, 
For Evan Lloyd returns no more. 



!V»«ide the sea thei-e stands a chui'ch, 
The waves repeat the Sabbath Psabn, 
Salt Ixjats the wind about the porch. 
Whose ivy sucks a bnny Iwlm. 

In earl}' days of Cambrian faith 
Some pious souls did carve the stones. 
And, their task ended, did becpieatli 
A saintly blessing with their buies : 

And HO uixiu the grassy verge, 
Prayer- built, it does in pmyer abide, 
And with a steadfast ]>atieuee ui-g<j 
A holy life on gnH)m and bride. 



12 THE DEATH OF EVAN LLOYD. 

Unshaken thro' the countless storms 
It seems to stand for evermore, 
And with its old symbolic forms 
Grathers to Chiist the neighbouring shore. 

The setting sun does paint and gild 

The western window by the sea, 

The greedy ocean's self is still'd 

With the sweet words ** Come home to me.' 

And here it was that Evan Lloyd, 
Eight days a weary wanderer kept, 
Foimd the gieat promise undestroy'd, 
And like a lamb of Jesus slept. 

They took him up upon the shore, 
J ust underneath the altar wall, 
(Poor child! he look'd asleep, no more,) 
And clothed him with a grassy }>al). 

Nor boots it now the chilly calm, 
Nor howling of the winter blast, 
He sleeps to music of the Psalm, 
For Evan Lloyd came home at last ! . 

Dec. l8o4. 



( 13 ) 



THE DEAD LOVE. 



Poor Love ! It died a sudden death 

While yet 't was filPd ^^^th hojxj and joy ; 

No lingering failure of the breath, - 

No cruel doubt did it annoy ; 

Till in one evil hour it fell, 

Struck by a dull shaft weighted well. 

J took it up so dead and cold, 
I smooth'd its garments' silken fold : - 
No living Love so dear, so fair ! 
Tlie glimmer of its drooping hair 
Cast a pale light uix>n my brcawt ; 
I cross'd its hands in sign of rest. 
And in them laid tlie sweetest flower 
Tliat summer brings us in her dower. 
Sweet as the Love that perisli'd there. 
And burning even as my de8]Miir. 

TliuH placed in decent order all, 
I wnipp'd it in a stainless pall. 
And Iwro it on my heart alway : 
Its sweetness kept it from decay. 
But wellnigh chill'd my heart away : 



U THE DEAD LOVE. 

Yet SO it to my life had giown 
I coiild not lay the burden down. 
How often on that dreary road 
I fainted with mine awful load ! 
Too many years it was to me 
A saintship and a comi>any, 
A blessing, an idolatiy. 
To la}' it where I could not see. 

Then spake my conscience of remorse, 
** This lies upon thee like a curse ; 
Thine arms are full, tliine heart is dull. 
Lay down thine ill lest it grow worse. 
Grow heavier as thou weaker grow. 
And crush thee with a weight of sm»w." 

l*t)or Love! Its dead face lo<)k*d reprtiacli. 
It seem'd to feel the foe's approach. 
Tlic fite Oblivion, worse than death, 
I wann'd it inith my living breath. 
I said. ** Fear not. thou poor dciul thing I 
More precious than all Time can bring : 
Thee shall the tcnderest thoughts embalm 
In memor}'*8 safe embracing calm. 
Where only hushfiil breezes blow 
From the far shores uf long ago. 
Bringing soft scent of summer flowers 
And music of the golden hours. 
And h)ving words which echo still 
Thn>' silence (which tliey cannot fill). 
For thee the present and the past 
Sliall melt into one moment, — last. — 



thp: dead love. 15 

Oh moumful Love ! that still dost dread 
Oblivion for the voiceless dead, — 
A cross for a memorial 
Of sweetness issuing forth from gall. 
Of use from loss, of health from pain. 
And from si)ent tears the noblest gain, 
I will ei-ect, and lilies three 
Will twine al^ont its foot, so be, 
Oh dearest Love ! content, that 1 
^lay walk once more in liberty. 
So shall my deeds, in this regret 
And earnest fondness strongly set. 
Cling round the liappy past, and l)e 
One fresli |K}r])etual song of Thee ! '' 

1854. 



( Ifi 



A DREAM. 



Roaming through a forest deep 
Once I wander'd in my sleep. 

Moss grew thick and soft ; 
Insects floated on the breeze, 
Herding deer beneath the trees 

Toss'd their heads aloft. 
In the dreamy noontide air 
Buds and bells and croeiM^rs fair, 

A very world of flowers. 
With unfolding leaflets told 
(And their chalices of gold,) 

The flight of summer hours. 
And a merrj' little stream 
SiKirkled in the hot sunl)eam. 

Or in deepest quiot 
(.'rept between the tufted grass. 
Hosting for a little i»ass 

From its pla>*ful riot. 
H«)aming thro' that forest deep, 
Tims I mused (^itliin my sleep), 

Oh for olden days ! 
When u|K)n the midnight green. 
Just in such a lovely scene. 

Danced the summer favs. 



A DREAM. 17 

Is there ne'er a nymph or sprite. 
Mortal vision to delight, 

In the trees reposing? 
Do no things of other birth 
Now revisit this dull earth 

At the evening closing ? 
Lo ! (still dreaming) I advanced 
Where of old the wood-fays danced 

In a sunny glade ; 
There, beneath an arching bower. 
Lay the spirit of a flower 

Sleeping in the shade. 
An ample robe of misty gold 
Coird in many a gi-aceful fold 

ITiis gentle spirit wore ; 
Such a choice attire I ween 
Never fonu of mortal queen 

At earthly festal bore. 
Such a light and such a grace 
Shone forth from its unearthly face 

A.S never jKiinter knew ; 
The subtle smile which flitted round 
Its jmrted lii>s ^^'ithout a sound 

In changeful glory flew. 
And melted to as faint a fro^^^l, 
In dreams which chased each otlicr down 

On that ethereal brow : 
If fairj' thoughts are far too fine 
For us cojirse mortals to divine 

Who may their visions know ": 
Entranced uiK)n that axN-ful verge 
Where nature and her mysteries merge. 

I held my breath ^\^th fear. 



IS A DREAM. 

** Whoso, beholding such a thing, 
Shall not of fays devoutly sing, 

He is no Poet dear ! " 
Thus I passionately spoke. 
And the woodland sprite awoke 

And frighten'd sprang away. 
Half forgetting I had slept, 
Vainly to recall I wept 

At the dawn of day ! 
Header, smile not in derision ; 
Never did a waking vision 
Half so fair and real seem 
As the Spirit of my Dream. 



( 19 ) 



SONG, 



When my ladj'^'s blue eyes glisten 
With the love I hold so dear, 
And for joy to look and listen, 
All my pulses thrub and stir ! 
And I, timid, bow l)cfore her, 
Scarcely daring kiss her hem, 
Holy seems she, — I adore her. 
Wondering whence so bright a gem ! 



Gracioiiii maiden ! 1 think rather 
Tliat thou art tliat wandering star, 
For whom all the weeping Pleiads 
Ever Miinl}' longing are. 
Oh ! I tremble lest they \vm her 
To go l>aek, — the Kistei*s seven. 
Scornful all of nu.% a sinner. 
From their shining walk in Heaven. 



( 20 ) 



SONG. 



What distance parteth thee and me ? 
It is not space, it is not time, — 
Death hath not put between onr souls 
His mystery cruel and sublime, 
^riie love I bore thee thrills me yet 
In ancient deamess unforgot. 
Yet day by daj' my heart implores 
For that — which cometh not. 

Time, touching all with tender hand. 

Will doulitlcss heal this hurt of mine, 

Inchuling this torn human l<»ve 

In yeiiniings more divine. 

Time, bringing bhjsHom to the rose. 

And seed-time unto flowers. 

Will doubtless tiike the sting from mit 

These long imjuitient hours. 

In the c<M»l shadow of his wings 

Our feverish soiTows sink to sleep. 

He gives us faith in nobler tilings 

Tlian Nature, but dotJi kecj». 

As in some t<iwer made stnmg to ln»ld 

A king^s rich gems, alH)V(» 

Tlie earthly air which wuxeth cold. 

Our tender human love. 



SONG. 21 

Then noble Time, in whom I ti-ust, 
More noble I^ove, my strength and stay, 
1 vrill beseech thee till thou must 
To my strong hoj^ give way ; 
But this I know thou wilt not do, 
How stem soe*er th<ju be. 
Thou canst not, while my heart is tioie. 
Wring all my hope from me. 



( 22 ) 



VOLUNTARIES. 



Behold, O Lord ! these iinhewn stone« 
Piled nidely for thy mighty towers. 
And I, condemn'd to work alone, 
Possessor of few fleeting houi-s ; 
Not on tlie ca^^'en coiiiiees 
Shall ever mark of mine belong, 
But I might place the lowest muge, - 
Then for m}' labour make me stnmg! 

I shall not live when this dear raci* 
Sliall widen to its nobler scoi>e. 
Nor dare I say I know my soul 
Will see fulfilment of its hope ; 
But if I liiil this faith to ^\^n, 
Xor think the crown reserved for nie. 
If these f(iw days Ik? all Thou giv'st. 
TTel]) them to pass in' sending lliee ! 

1 know not of myself, my soul 
Is stmnger to me than the smile 
On some l>eloved face ; no lights 
In future da^'s these days lieguile : 
I only know I live to learn, 
To love, to struggle, to endure, 
\Mien all my sight is swathed in mist 
Thou and my work alone are sun* ! 



VOLUNTARIES. 23 

But art not Thou enough ! unseen, 

Unproved, unknown, but ever near, 

The daj's are interfused with Thee, 

And ever}' day in Thee is dear ! 

Lord of nij- life ! I dare to live 

Where thousands of thy children be. 

Living to live by thy dear ix)wer, 

And if I sleep to sleep in Thee ! 

18*51. 



Like beiTies on some inner bough, 

W liich swell, grow red, and straight decay. 

Finding for beauty no employ. 

Till all their fitness fades away : 

Vet join some elemental force 

And fatten soil for other trees, — 

How (if ten seem our human lives 

Csolcss, or useful but as these. 

\Nhether, of earthly children, sires. 
Men toil and store, — or whether, cross'd 
In that ni(»st ardent t»f desires. 
The eurreiit of their lives seem lost. 
\N liether the task l»e duly done, 
< )r the strong word unnoticed fall. 
(mkI counts his workmen one by one, 
And surely too he uses all. 

No life is luHt, no hope is vain, 
.No prayer without a sequent deed, 
lie turns all sc*eming loss tt» gain. 
And 'finds a soil fur everv seeil. 



24 VOLUNTARIES. 

Some fleeting glance He doth endow, 
He sanctifies some casual word, 
Unconscious gifts His children show. 
For all is potent with the Lord. 

We only see the outer thing. 
The secret heart of force ignore, 
Lo ! from some harsh ungenial spring 
Full summer blossoms forth the more ! 
Deep lie the channels of God's gra<je, 
Deep lies the mystery of use. 
He setteth in the chiefest place 
That stone the builders all refuse. 

The links of time are coTinted up, 
And all were nought if one were broken. 
He knows the drops in every cup, 
No word remains as if unspoken ; 
We do not guess what wo achieve, 
Dim is the ending of our course, 
Our faintest impulse may receive 
Tlie aid of supernatural force. 

Half blind amidst the stir of things. 
But safe in following out the law. 
Wo know not what a moment brings. 
Nor which way blows the burning straw. 
WTion earth's great heart hath ceased to beat. 
And all is finish'd as foreshown, • 
Marshaird before the Judgment Seat, 
Then shall we know as we are known. 

1853. 



VOLUNTARIES. 2o 

Lord ! If on earth Thou hast a Church, 
And dost vnth fulness dwell therein, 
Let me not wander past the jwrch, 
And dwell forlorn in outer sin. 
But whether it be stmitly built. 
Or, wide as all the world, embrace 
Each soul that hates Thy hated guilt, 
And watches for Thy quickening grace ; — 

Wherever Thine appointed fold 
Doth like the gates of Morning stand. 
And, flinging back its bars of gold. 
Shows glimpses of the heavenly land, — * 
Oh ! thither guide my wandering feet, 
And grant me sight and keep me strong. 
That, A\Tapt in Thy communion sweet, 
I fail not from thy saints among. 

So, stable in my inner mind, 
\Vith peace at heart whatever Ix^fall, 
May I abide amidst my kind. 
Accepting, truKting, using all 
Which Tliuu dost in thy love decree. 
And by Thy will before iiie caHt, 
Till the true life K^tow'd by ITiee 
Shall be bv Thee resiuued at last. 



185 



o. 



( 26 ) 



FOR ADELAIDE. 



Who is the Poet ? lie who sings 
Of high, abstnisc, and hidden tilings, 
Or rather he who with a liberal voice 
Does with the glad hearts of all earth rejoice ? 

sweetest Singer ! rather would I be 
Gifted with thy kind human melody 

Than weave niystenous rh^Tnes and such as seem 

Bom in the dim depths of some sage's dream : 

But I have no such art ; they will not choose 

Tlic utterance of my hai*sh ungenial muse 

For any cradle chant ; I sludl not aid 

The mournful mother or the loving maid 

To find relief in song. I shall not Ijo 

Placed side by side, O Poet dear, with thee 

In any grateful thoughtD, yet be it known 

By all who read how much thou liast mine oAvn ! 

When, with Ijcnt brow and all too anxious heart, 

1 walk with huiTving stop the crowded mart, 
And look abroad on men with faithless eyes, 
Tlien do sweet snatches of thy song arise. 
And float into my heart like meliMlies 

Down dropping from the far blue deeps of heaven, 
Or sweet IhjUs wafted over fields at oven. 



FOR ADELAIDE. 2 

Therefore, if thanks for any gifts be due, 

If any service be esteemed tiiie, 

If any ^'il•tue8 do to verse belong. 

Take thou the Poet's name, by right of song I 

Suffer that I, who never yet did give 

False words to that dear art by which I live, 

Pluck down bright bay-leaves fiom the eternal tree, 

And place them where they have true right to be ! 



c 2 



( 28 ) 



LONDON STREETS. 



Oh what a charm in London dwells 

For him who walks her streets with love ; 

The clang of immemorial bells 

Flung from grey towers above, — 

The deathless, undecaying Past 

In which our days are set, 

Preach ever, lest we live too fast, 

All careless hearts forget. 

Niched deep in streets where Commerce jwurs 

Her torrent life regardless by. 

We find the fruit of holy hours. 

And see great thoughts forgotten lie. 

Not dead, tho* slimilxjring, — at our need 

To pristine life they start. 

And scatter fresh aboimding seed 

On soul and mind and heart. 

Lo ! Christ the Lord, by all confoss'd. 
Did mould and Kign the works of men ; 
Once throned. He is not dispossessed, 
But claims his own again. 
The impress of His sacred ffet 
In all our ways we see, 
Tho' faint and worn, reminder sweet 
Of thine, dear Lord, and Thee. 



LOXDOX STREETS. 29 

All that our English hearts hold dear 
Find here some symbol, here some sign. 
To these dark stones each fateful year 
Did her high tale resign. 
Walk thro' their midst with heedful eyes. 
And what they teach thee tell, 
The wondrous past of London lies 
In this great Chronicle. 

Oh sylvan river, flowing on 

For ever to the circling sea. 

What wondrous epochs have begun, 

What hopes been bred by thee ! 

Oh Spire and Cross and bridge and mart, 

Whene'er I pass along. 

Thy murmur makes imto my heart 

One vast perpetual song ! 

Then what a charm in London lies 

Let every English poet sing : 

All mysteries lurk beneath her skies ; 

She, mighty in her spring 

Of life and thought and hope and aim, 

A nobler verse demands. 

Hut ^-ith a lover's voice I claim 

Her ^Mistress c»f the Lands. 



( 30 ) 



RECOGNITION. 



In thy dark eyes, long sought and lately found, 

A world of lovely meaning for me lies, 

The riddle of my life seems all unwound. 

And render'd in their living depth, dear eyes ! 

If I have hoped, my ho^xis are gathered in. 

Finding unlook'd fulfihnent on this day ; 

If I have wept, now let fresh joy begin. 

For I will cast my anxious thoughts away. 

Meeting the world and life with clearer brow. 

Since to me also that great gift is given 

Of answering heart to heart, pn)]>hetic now 

Of how we may bo one witli iMirist in Heaven. 

Tliy hand's kind clasp, which held my own in thrall. 

Stiird all its pulses with as full a calm 

As blesses earth when tender twilights fall, — 

Thy voice to me is as rememlHir'd Psalm. — 

Is it indeed so strange ? Or hath it nm 

In a faint melody thro' all my days, 

Unkno^vn, unnamed, like w^ine fine thread of sun. 

Or subtle sweetness thro* a piK't's lays ? 

It is not time which doth build up true love, 

(Tho' that more surely linkoth like to like ;) 

It is all outer sense and h<»pi* above 

When hearts new found do each on other Ktrik*» 



RECOGNITION. 31 

With instant music ! — He who doth conduct 

Rivers by divere channels to the sea, 

Did in far diflferent fires our souls instruct, 

And, when the time was ripe, brought mine to thee I 

Oh ! word inadequate ! Oh ! wondrous hour. 

Which like the Sibyl of past time did stand. 

And, offering me her rich prophetic dower, 

A moment waited with an outstretch'd hand I 

Had I from her fair promise shrunk away, 

Saying, " I peril not my late-won peace, 

Leave me my round of duties day by day, 

Love ever is a burden, — Tempter, cease ! " — 

I ever might have blamed my cowaixl heart ; • 

Not always must our jiast exj^erience warn ; 

Still would I gather flowers where'er they start, 

Nor dread the rose Ixjcause it wears a thorn. 

But thou ! Thc»u wilt not pain me ? (See, I trust 

AVith a half-fearful faith I) If truth thci-e be, 

If an^' stedfastness, I think thou must, 

By tlie sweet promise of thine eyes, love me. 

Lol to thy hand I give myself; — I give 

What hencefortli thou must never cast away, — 

A loving human heart, and, while 1 live. 

Will trust thee even as thou sayst I may. 



( 32 ) 



TWO ARTISTS. 



Within a little room 

Doth one dear Painter sit, 

*Tis fringed wth summer bloom, 

And the ivy drops o'er it : 

Down doth the ivy drop, 

To all the arts akin ; 

Shy little birds will stop 

And slily peep therein. 

The clouds are curious ! 

So is the upper blue ; 

And the tall tree-tops that laugh at us 

Bend their great heads to you. 

Of cloud and tree and spray 

The faint wall-shadow dances. 

Murmurs the summer wind alway, 

Envioi^B of your sweet fancies ! 

Here doth full silence reign 

Tliro' all the golden mom, 

While dreams flit in and out again 

Ei-e Art's fair child is bom. 



Out on the far hill-side. 
Begirt with curling fern, 
Where chasing clouds do ride. 
Doth the other Painter learn. 



TWO ARTISTS. 'd'.i 



ITiei-e's neither rock nor tree. 
Nor restive mountain stream. 
Cloud-peak nor valley 
Cut by a slanting beam ; — 
There's no flood on the meadow. 
There's no biid in the sky, 
Nor deep mid-forest shadow. 
But fills this Painter's eye. 
Perch'd on a crazy paling, 
Deep in a ha>vthom hedge. 
Or briny air inhaling 
Which whirls by ocean edge ; — 
Wherever Nature calls 
Will this brave aitist speed, 
And I ! — whate'or befalls. 
Follow like Ganymede ! 



( 34 ) 



DREAM FEARS. 



We met when time to both was yomig, 
And even'd by our love it giew, 
All scatterd miusic which 1 sung 
Was gather'd up and given by you. 
Too mighty seems the golden spell 
To bind it round %\'ith flowei"s of si>eech, 
But high as heaven, or deep as hell, 
I swear unbroken it shall reach. 

If 1 should lose, — 1 cannot say 

The tiling, fur life and thought and huj)e 

Are so knit up in you, my way 

Si) well companii»n'd in your scu|»e. 

That, if I tiy the words to s])eak 

Which pictui-e nie without you here. 

The shudileriiig thiills which o'er me1>reak 

♦Say, wonlless, if your thought is dear. 

If I should lose, — my dream flows on. 
With the dark yeaniiug in my eyes 
Of «jne who thinks he sees the sun 
•Sink blarkly thro' dissolving skies. 
Oft as this dream swfe|>s over me. 
Sore troubled in 3'i»ur eyes I look. 
The plmntom «»f my fear you see. 
That is the gaze you cannot bruuk. 



DREAM FEAKS. :{.") 

'* If I lose you," — I bravo the word, 
I will repeat it day by day ; 
Who boldly grasps a naked swoitl 
Perchance can fling the blade away. 
Oh give me back my causeless trust. 
My hope that never knew a fear, — 
Fate, if thou strike iiio into dust, 
Let me not know when thou ait near ! 

** If I lose you," — if I should see 

Your dearest face quite pale and cold, 

And death's dark shadow silently 

Even the lingering smile enfold. 

Straight comb'd beside your ])ulseleKs heait, 

L'ubmided lie chill shining hair. 

And flickering sunbeams glow and stai-t. 

With no caress responsive there. 

And I , whose voice is often mute* 
When love wells up witliin my soul, 
Dai*ed all my mocking hoi»e refute, 
Hetivatiug on a dumb contml, — 
I do not know, — I cannot i^iiiit 
In dreams what such a loss would K* : 
But if it come, and my kouI famt. 
Dear (tod in Heaven, be stn»iig for iii«* 
tie sttx/mjfor me! 



( 36 ) 



WARNING. 



Time, rushing past mo with the noise of wings, 

Woke up my sleeping spirit, and I wept 

At his receding pinions moving on 

Into eternity whilst I had slept. 

Vainly across the gulf would I have leapt. 

Crying, Oh bear me on thy wings to heaven. 

And place me on my God's right hand forgiven ; 

Or boar at least some Christian deed to lay 

Before the throne — a faint and feeble sign 

Of that which fills my heart. Came answer none 

Across the abysmal darkness. Time was gone. 

'Gainst he returning come. Soul, work and pray. 

That he may take thee unto the Divine. 



( 37 ) 



DEATH THE EXCIRCLER. 



Time rolls, and month by month 

The upwelling blood of Nature fills her veins. 

And the bright wooing sun 

From the dear earth hath won 
A tender bhish of flowers that gladden all her plains. 

The waves come leaping in. 

And I lie clasp'd within 
The kind warm arms of Nature. I coidd die 
In such a mood os this ; my liml>R, dissolved. 
Should be to some new herb of loveliest shajK? resolved. 

And I woidd ^wur my soul, 
A cup of spirit- wine, from out its breathing Uiwl, 

To help the vital force 
Which %\'ing8 the stars on their unchanging course. 
Or sprouts among the leaves, and I could K* 
So lost in Nature as to com^iensate for me. 

Ilnis dreams the iK)et, thinking. 

Thus dreams tlie artist, drinking 
Fresh dmughts of Ixsauty every fresh created day. 
Till o'er his half-esca|)ed spirit sweep 
Tliose human memories ever folded deep 
Within his heart : then rather would he say. 

O friends ! dear friends and true ! 

Had I, foi^tting you, 



38 DEATH THE EXCIUCLEK. 

SuiTender'd up my spirit before the throne 

Of gi*eat Queen Natui-e, did yon but require 

My love, my service, from the quiveiing fire. 

From rock, and wave, and flower, I know would staii: 

The outward foims and sti*engths of my unwavering heait, 

And my life spring obedient when you claim'd your <mn. 

I fear not life, mine eyes are bold for seeing ; 

I fear not death nor any change of being ; 

Meek for the present, strong for the coming day, 

I tell my soul to be, as bo it may ; 

Only I fear that 1, who walk along 

In your dear love so happy and so strong. 

Be cut fix)m such communion, and the roll 

Of deaths imiK?nctrablo waters surge above ni}' soul. 

Oh Grave I hast thou the victory over I^^ve ? 

Love with the fearless eyes ? I do not think 

That our frail IwiithcrluKxl, if on tliat brink 

Beneath whuse depths lies black oblividu, 

Could wear the high Jispect it girdeth on 

When it goes forth to c(>n<pier ill, and give 

Eiich loving heart the assuninco — ** Thou shalt live." 

Oh Cimve ! liast thou the victory over Love V 
Black shadow, creep not over sunny life. 

Which, striving to put forth 

Some flowers uf heavenly worth, 
Shrinks from tliine inmge in unetpial strife. 

Oh tluMi, who gjitherest youth. 
Genius, and l»eaut}' to thy diirk embrace, 
Let one dear smile of pity gleam upim thy fkce I — 
Seeds which we sow in God ex|)and to flowers above, — 
Leave us, who h»se so nnich, eternity and love ! 



( 39 ) 



MYSTERIES. 



What ai*t thou, and what hidest thou, 

Thou veil of feir material sense, 

So thin, of baffling permanence ? 

What art thou, and what hidest tliou. 

Thick cm-tain, viewless to my sight. 

But shutting me from power and light ? 

Grey clouds of morning baning rosy skies, 

BaiTing the Hand which made mc from mine eyes ! 

Sometimes from that most glorious shore 

Whei*e Christ the Lord sits evermore 

Comes a faint TN-ind ; aside one moment rolls 

The awful curtain ; on our trembling siiuls 

A vision of the Etemitj- which is. 

Hath been, and ever shall be, very nigh 

To the dear dreaming earth sweeps gloriously. 

A moment hear we s}Tnphonies of Heaven, 

A moment see blue depths thro' vuih)^!* riven, — 

Then darkness steals u|x>n us, and we seem 

As though our hearts had fired at some unstable dn*aiti. 

Again the stem and soulless laws of nature dmg 

Us imrelenting, crushing those who lag ; 

We hear no spheral hymns ; the subtle soul 

Which works or sol>s aromid us flies our coarse c«»ntr« i! : 

The oratorio of the waves is dumb. 

Nor from the sighing groves do any voices come. 

The household angels who walk'd with us melt 

Into thin air, their present love unfelt ; 



40 MYSTERIES. 

And while their white wings glimmer far and faint, 
Lo ! where the prophet preach'd, men seek the sculp- 
tured saint. 

Ah ! we have glorious days when we seem knit 

To some great Heart, whose loving beat is round. 

Above, below us, and the waves reply. 

And the winds whisper when they catch the sound. 

We walk as gods ; a power is in our eyes, 

Constraining others ; and a finer flow, 

A decider moaning in our utterance lies, 

A grander breadth of puqiose on our brow. 

Is this the Possible held up before us. 

In the warm summer of our fitful spring. 

When Clirist's full bounteous presence shall be o'er us. 

And like a sun shall perfect everj^thing ? 

And thou, and thou, gicat Nature ! souFd with beauty. 

Which is unto thee as my mind to me, — 

No dead conglomerate <»f dust and forces. 

But instinct with a vital energy'. 

Science, in uttering thy relations, knows not. 

And cannot utter of the soul within ; 

But the dear love we boar thee is a witnesH 

Thou and humanity are near of kin. 

Oh ! church or chapel preacheth not the fulnens 

Wrapt in the life of Nature : she can teach 

To watcliful shephenls how great mysteries circle 

Our little life ; and ever as we reach 

The heart of some great truth, retreating flieth 

Her all-summnding essence, and we find, 

Tho' we jHirchance half fancy tliat we seize it. 

Impenetrable mystery lie lK*hind. 



( 41 ) 



THE MOORS. 



** Come out," said Leonard, bursting through my door, 

His black curls tangled like a fretting sea, — 

** Come out, nor waste on lazy books this day, 

Fit for the gods, and all too good for men. 

Thou witless student, authors have two eyes*, 

As many thou ! with complement of ears 

(Though rather long ones) ; pray, had Plato more? 

Bacon could smell and taste, and finger coin 

As saith tradition ; and gi*eat Socrates 

Tossess'd five senses and his ugliness ; 

An* if thou use thine own great store as well. 

Thou Khalt be leam'd and famous ere thou die. 

Thou ever lookest thro' the telescope 

Of great dead minds, seeing the shores remote 

Of jjast and future time ; thine own poor nose 

Knocking meantime 'gainst every neighbour p«ist. 

Did Beauty die with her interpreters, 

Dirgod by the murmur of the Italian sea ? 

Did Science fly with Newton up to Heaven, 

Leaving us here forlorn to read her past ? 

Or do they rather live a fuller life. 

Now dropping blessings down like fniitful rain 

On human hearts and homes ? ^\llo on the pa»t 

Is idly pleased to feed liis mental frame. 

May be indeed tlie pupil of great men. 



42 THE MOORS. 

But never their companion. We have priests 

And teachers all about us eveiy hour, — 

Matter yet plastic from the hand of God, 

And spirit welling up from founts divine. 

Begging our thoughts. You give no heed to them ; 

You *re like a child, who throw your lesson by 

To fidget with the key, which in itself 

Is nothing, can bo nothing, but a help 

Unto your task's right reading, being learnt." 

The sapient Leonard stopped. 

So I arose. 
Took my round hat, and put my box of paints 
Into a basket, ^vith some bread and wine 
To sustain the outer husk, and for our souls 
A volimie of Carlyle, poet-painter, one 
Wherein he treats of Goethe, and a weo 
Edition of Shakesi)earc'8 songs (whose title-jwige 
Bore the dear name of some old Geniian tovrii 
Where Leonard bought it, l»cing swoni to liim 
As I to Goethe then) ; and, so equipped. 
We sallied foitli. 

A slowly winding nmd 
Led up and up ; uiK)n the boundary-wall 
A fringe of ferns cut into delicate shaiK^s 
B}' Nature's graving t<K)l, and riclily dyed 
In every shade of green, gi*ew lavishly, 
Kejoicing, quiet things, to be alive. 
So woimd we up, till unawares we gain'd 
Tlie broad high table-land, and to our eyes, 
Our dazzled, utterly astonish'd eyes, 
Broke all that sea of heather, puq)le toned. 



THE MOORS. 4.S 

A luscious caipet far as eye cotild see, 
Variously shaded, and the cotton-rush 
Here and there flecking with its snow-white plume 
Tlie great exi>anse ; and b}" us brown game-birds 
Went whirring in shaq) fear. Ne'er in my life 
Had I seen such a sight, and I stood dimib 
In awful wonder. Leonaid said, " God's book 
Lieth before thee." 

In a iK>int of time 
I seem'd to read long chapters, eveiy word 
Cramm'd full witli meaning, and the strangest thoughts 
Came over me ; the gi*eat indwelling soul 
Of all this beauty sjiake my heart within ; 
Willie in my veins a richer life-blood ran. 
The chaos of my fancy open'd out 
Into an order never known l)ef<n*e ; 
Now thoughts, new paintings, and new |KK*m8 nihc 
Like dreams of a futurity, nioi*e bright 
Tlian ever was my i^awt ; I thought I heard 
llie stars all singing, though I saw them not. 
And the earth swell the clionis ; theii* song mid 
•* Glory to God wlio made the lieautifid !" 
•* Glory to God !" I tiiiid, and down my cheeks 
Tears rain'd for gladness, till I could not see 
The heather or the suiiKhine. Leonard then — 
For he was of a difterent nature, strong 
And blithe as mountjiin colt, — bid me C(tme on 
And tn' another page, and while he went 
He sang at topmost voice. ** What shall he haw 
That kills the deer? the honi, the horn to wear:" 
Or else the ** Greenwood Tive." 



44 THE MOORS. 

And 80 we passed 
Over the hills, unto what seem'd a brink 
O'erlooking half a world ; hill after hill 
Around us lay, encircling a great vale 
Of many miles' extent ; and to the right 
An opening stretch'd away : we thither bent 
Our steps, and gain'd a verdant pasture deep 
In shadow of thick trees, beside the Wharf, 
NMierc comfortable monks had built a church, 
And dwelling for themselves, and pray'd and eat. 
And di-ank and eat and pray'd and drank again. 
And taught the neighbouring poor some little lore. 
And gave them alms, and gossip*d ; no place this 
For rigid anchorite of dreams divine. 
But rather in these blossoming Bolton woods 
Might all the Greek and Boman poets lie 
Out of the reach of liarm on dusty shelves. 
And prophesy — the unrighteous pagans — times 
\Mien Bolton Abbey should lie low, and they 
Sliouhl, in quotations, illustrate its fall. 
But we were not to tliat offence inclined ; 
Little of Koman or of Greek thought we. 
But only of sweet England and her bards. 
I)<i%m to the river thirstily wo went, 
Where yet no deeper tlian a child's blue e3'es 
It R])arklod over stones ; the yonder side 
A riKjky l>ank rose steeply, hung with ti-eos. 
Tlu»ro did we lie and dream in the hot noon ; 
Leonard read Shakespeare's songs, as was his wont 
Whenever he was glad. I hid my face 
Far in the thick rich grass, and poems sang. 
Within my spirit, of the olden days. 
And then about the ruins and the trees, 



THE MOOKS. 4.5 

And children paddling in the river. I 
Seeni'd verily like an /Eolian harp that day : 
I was so moved by Nature that I sway'd 
Beneath her like a willow to and fro ; 
And ever as a song came in at one ear, 
I felt constrain'd to sing it, and it went 
Out at the other. So we lay till dusk ; 
Then, when the silver moon in beautj' rose 
Into the dark blue sky, and t^Wnkling stars 
Rose over Bolton, shimmering in the Wharf, 
We back retiu-n'd. Over the heathery moors, 
Now darkly radiant, silently we went. 



( 46 ) 



A BALLAD OF SMUGGLING DAYS. 



PART I. 

** The night is dark as pitch, Harry, 
But thoro 's not a drop of rain, 
And when the tide has risen 
They '11 all be there again ; 

** By yonder little eastward bay, 
With the crags on either hand, 
A lonely place, — *tis there, I think. 
They '11 run the boats to land. 

** Ten of the woi-st and wildest lads 
Are coming across the sea, 
And the largest lK)at of the two, Harry, 
Will bo laden heavily." 

They walk'd along the shore three miles, 
Tlie strong and fearless men, 
As many as they conhl muster, — 
But the furce wius smaller then, — 

Till all witliin the shadow st<KKl. 
Speaking never a word ; 
Then over the sea the first boat 
Came flying like a bird. 



A BALLAD OF SMUGGLING DAYS. 47 



PART n. 

Bright on the monx)w i*oso the sun 

And glitter*d on the sea, 

The rippled foam of the ebbing tide 

Was as white as it could l>e ; 

Tlie long bix)'\>'n fields of ti'ockless sand 

Betrnj^'d no myster}'. 

** Let lis go to the bay, ITany ; 

'Twere well to find some token 

Of who tlie smugglers were ; 'tis strange 

Tliat not a word was spoken, 

Xor, save by oaths and dying gnxins, 

Tliat SL\yf\i[ silence broken." 



iJut to the Iwiy went Wh the men. 

And, onward as they jmish. 

The fishing-lxMits wore doubled in 

A sea as suuH>th as glass : 

Until one stoop'd, and twiid, ** My G<h1 ! 

Hero 's Uixxl ujion the gniss." 

"Here, Ilany! no, it cannc»t l)e, 

NVo came not near this wchmI." 

Yet both the men jiaused silentlj'. 

And trembled as they stocnl. 

For the roimd red droji8 were ]>lain to see, 

Aud nothing looks like bltMHl. 



48 A BALLAD OF SMUGGLING DAYif. 

Over the little violet-leaves 
They track'd the life-stains on, 
Over the jagg'd grey shadows 
Of the lichen-crusted stone, 
And midst the shining silver dew, 
That ghastly crimson shone. 



Beside the brook, by swaying reeds. 
Under the shudd'iing trees. 
And where the trailing ivy-sprays 
Were singing to the breeze, 
Sprinkled about the glorious grass 
And white anemones. 



They track*d it on ; at last, a roof 
Of sunlit leaves beneath. 
Its white face nestled in the grass. 
Lay the cold Thing of death ; 
The small birds sang in vain to it 
With meek persuasive breath ; 



And all an>und, the lovely wimd 
Was pouring forth a hymn 
At morning da^^'n : to his dead oar 
All but God's trump were dim, 
Tlio anthem and the loveliness 
Are nothing now to him. 



A BALLAD OF SMUGGLIXG DAYS. 49 

Quiet he lay, and Hany bent 
And touch'd the curling hair, 
\Vhich lay in tangles, and raised up 
The face into the air, 
And a sudden sob broke fearfully. 
Of the strong man's great despair. 

" Thou ! sadly lost, and now foiuid thus. 

Thou darling of my mother ! 

Whose name has been a banish'd word, 

Still dearer than all other.*' 

Great G(^ I how long miist blood ciy out ? 

Tlie rsniugglcr was his brother. 



( 50 ) 



A CAROL FOR WILLIE 



C'fiitisTMAS comes, Christmas comes, 
Blessing wheresoe'er he roams, 
And he calls the little children 
( 'bister'd ui a thousand homes. 

Stand yon still, my little children, 

F(»r a moment while I sing, 

Wreath'd together in a ring. 

With yonr tiny hands embracing 

In a snowy interlacing, 

And your rich curls dn»j»]»ing down, 

(iolden, black, and aubuni-brown. 

( )ver bluest little eyes : 

Toss them Ixick in sweet suii)ri.sf 

While my i)retty song 1 sing. 

1 have ai)]>les, I have cakes. 
Icicles, and snowy flakes. 

Hanging on each naked bougli : 
Sugar stniwlierries and clierrics, 
Misletoe and ludly-K'iTics 

Nail'd alxive the glorit»us show. 

I liave i»resents rich and rare, 
Heuuties which I do ni»t si»are. 



A CAROL FOR WILHE. 5 J 

For my little children dear ; 
At my steals the casements lighten. 
Sourest human fiEices brighten, 
And the carols, music sti-ange. 
Float in their melodious change 

On the night wind cold and dreai*. 

Listen now, my little children, 

All these things I give to you, 

And you love me, dearly love me. 

(Witnessed in your welcome tnie.) 

\Vliy do I thus yearly scatter. 

With retreating of the sun, 

Sweetmeats, holiday, and fun ? 

There must be something much the matte i 

Where my "wdne-streams do not nui. 

Once I was no m(.)re than might la* 

Any seas<:»n of the year ; 

No kind tajxjrs shone to light nio 

On my way advancing here ; 

No small children msh'd to niec*t u\r 

Hai)py human smiles to greet me : 

Time, it was a while ago. 

But I mind me it was so. 

Then believe me, children dear. 

Till one foggy cold DeeemKT, 
Eighteen hoarj- centuries jwust, 
(Tliereabouts as 1 remenil»er,) 
Came a voice \\\xn\ the blast. 
And a strange star in the heaven : 
One said that unto us was given 

1. J 



52 A CAROL FOR WILLIE. 

A Saviour and a Brother kind ; 
The star upon mj head shed down 
Of golden beams this living crown. 
The birthday-gift of Jesus Christ. 
\Miereby my glory might be kno^^^l. 

You all keep your little birtlidays ; 

Keep likewise your fathers', mothers'. 

Little sisters', little brothers' ; 

To commemorate this birth 

Sings aloud the exulting earth ! 

Every age and all professions. 

In all distancc-jmrted nations, 

Meet together at this time 

In spirit, while the church-bells chime. 

Little children, dance and play. 

We will join ; but likewise pray 

At morning, thinking of the day 

I have told yim J rememl»er 

In a bleak and cold Decemlxr, 

Long ago and far away. 

164K. 



( 53 ) 



CHRISTMAS COMES BUT ONCE A-YEAR. 



I SAID last year, 
Old Christmas cometh with an open hand, 
Bright holly wTcath'd about his temples bland, 
Icicles twisted in his curiing hair 
.\nd hanging from his breast in crystals rare : ' 
All men rejoice when Christmas di'aweth near. 

M men rejoice I No, no, this royal guest — 

This jolly fellow — hath a double face ; 

Ice-cold and hard as iron is his brow 

AVhen, wrapp'd in pitiless storms and vest of snow, 

He hovers o*er the household of the poor 

And Ktrikcs with clenched fist the fragile door. 

When far away the wandering sim hath borne 

His molten beams to drop on Capricorn, 

Tliero is no faggot to supply his place. 

I<iOw lio the embers in the darkening room. 
The Ijaby's feeble hands are pinch'd with cold. 
The old man, siglitless in the gathei*ing gloom, 
I lath sunk into a iMist of memories old. 
Over their heads the bleak Decemlxjr howls. 
And sleety winds a\xnit the chimneys beat. 
While miserable rafters scjirce prevent 
Tlie oozy dro]>s from pattering to their feet. 



54 CHRISTMAS COMES BUT ONCE A-YEAR. 

Wet, cold, and dark. ** How long will Christmas last ?" 
Say little cliildren who should love it well. 
They cannot sleep at night when that great blast 
Moans in its fury like a funeral bell 
Through such thin walls. Old Christmas passes by. 
His aims fill'd up with a luxurious store ; 
But ah ! of cake, and to}^ and dance, and fire. 
Hath nothing for the children of the pi>or. 

Poor tiny outcasts of the rich heirs feast, 

They stand with wistful eyes and hear the sung 

Of how, when Jesus was a little child. 

His mother tended him the whole night long. 

In the dim street the carol chanteth how 

The three "wise kings brought presents ricli and nuc 

While, giftloss, they, within their untrinini'd walls. 

Watch the snow falling through the twilight air, 

And count the hours till bed-time — then lie do>vii 

With shivering limbs, in broken sleep, till day ; 

And how shall these believe that in the night 

The kind Cliild Jesus can have pa.ss\l that way ? 

For shame, old Christmas ! when you visit hciti 
And bring our little children feast and toy, 
Tell them they shall not have one bit this year 
Till they have fed a child who cannr»t buy. 
*' Go<id Christians all who in this Xovnx reside," 
For whom the season since your birth luis smiled. 
Besides the tmcts and blankets, Ixicf and bread, 
(Vw'Q something to the Christmas of the Child I 

1J^40. 



( 55 ) 



NEW-YEAR'S EYE AXD NEW-YEAR'S DAY. 



Good bye, Old Year! 
And with thee take 
Thanks for the gifts to everj'^ land 
llion broiightest in thy bounteous liaiid, 
^Vnd all that thuu ha«t taught to hearts thy lin^eriiio 
steps foi*sake. 

Good bye, Okl Year ! 

The Past awaiteth ihee, 
AMio nileth in her iKjwor aLaie 
Tlie kingdom (»f Oblivion. 
Silent she sits in o1h»u chair; 
Falling mists of dusky hair 
Veil her dark eyes' glorious sliine, 
Full of wise help, and truth divine. 
Silent, unless a fitful sound. 
As from s line eavoni undfigi'i>uiid. 
Steal fri»m her lii»s ; the c<»nii»any 
Of ancient Ycai"s that round her l>e, 
Tlien chanting, one l»v nne. give tongn«- 
To old exi>enenee in tlieir song. 

Go«h1 bye. Old Year! 
Tli«»u g<>est fintli alone. 
Ah we Khali do : thy pages gay, 
Seamms and months wlu» n»und thee ]'Iay. 
Attend thee to F^iith's farthest verge, then Iwirk ! to 
gn.»ot thy S4»n. 



50 NKW- year's eve AND XEW-YEAR's DAY. 

Hail, New-bom Year ! 

Cradled in morning clouds 
Golden and white. I cannot see 
Thy face — 'tis wrapp'd in mystery ; 
But Spring for thee is painting flowere, 
And Summer decks her woven bowers ; 
Kich Autumn's sheaves will soon be reap'd, 
With store of fruits in sunbeams steep'd, 
And one by one with gentle hand folds back thy 8uulit 
shrouds. 

Hail, New- bom Year! 
Shining and beautiful, 
Thou wilt step forth in plenitude 
Of youth and its rejoicing mood. 
Last child of the half-century, 
Aud time of coming victor}' 
Over the si)irits of night and sin, 
Whose bowlings of defeat begin : 
Tliou bringest lioix?, and labour bless'd 
III visions of successfid rest, 
Bnngfst great thoughts, and actions wrought 
In fire uihju tliat forge of thought. 
And with the soul of earnestness I think thy youths 
are full. 

Hail, New-born Year! 

My utterance is too weak 
To tell of all 1 think thou bringest. 
To iclio iKick the song thou singest; 
lint the verv' \v\ndn of Heaven, for those who listen to 

tlu*ni, K]H:ak ! 



( 57 ) 



SUMMER'S SONG. 



Who calleth ? I am coming, I am coming 

O'er the hills with a swift step from dawn till gloamiiiir. 

Pouring from my broadlipp*d horn 

Increase over gi-ass and com. 

As I haste I hear discoui-ses. 

From the murmurous watercourses, 

Of the purple-pinion'd rover, 

AMiile from fragrant fiehls of clover 

Comes a drowsy dreamy hum ; 

They say, ** Doth not Summer come ?" 
Yes, I*m coming, oh ! I'm c(»ming ! 

WTio calleth ? Bird in given wood, deer in forest. 

Meadow blossoms, and those small things (much 'ht- 
dearest,) 
Who }>U»Ksom in the ioyvn. 
And in every alley knomi 
To venturous explorers anion^ men ; — 
All say, ** Come, sweot Suhiiikt. quicken 
Tliy slow stejis, for, oh ! we sicken 
Of the darkness and tlic snow : 
UV fain would hud and hK»w. 
And tct» fain woidd huild our nest 
Where the green Inniglis slielter l>est. 
And tc^' fain would jro and play 
In the meadows yond' all day. 

Oh sweet Summer, sweetest Suimuut, come apiin ' " 

Yes, I'm coming, oh! I'm coming. 

D A 



58 



Who calleth ? All the great sea-waves are weary 
Of wTestling with the roaring wind in fiiry. 

And would like to go to sleep 

On the suiface of the deep, 
Dreaming of the mermaids down below. 

All the little streams awake ; 

Tlieir silver threads I take. 

With the filmy morning mist 

By early smibearas kiss'd. 
And wTeathe them in a veil about my bix>w. 

S<» I walk upon the land, 

Scattering from my hand 

R idlest fruits and flowers, 

\\ hile the winged hours 

Taint the sky with gold. 

And loveliness untold 

Of blue and n»Ke and gray, 

Invoking every day 
Fresh si>ells of coh»ur and fresh majesty of fonn. 

( )li ! little child and sire, 

S.*atod by your waning firc. 
And Kturni Kat wanderer on the great earth roaming. 
Fold y«»ur glad liauds in prayer because I'm c^miinjr ! 



( 59 ) 



HASTINGS IN APRIL. 



In this rejoicing time, when sun and shower 

In shining alternation nile the sky, 

And the brown fields are shadow*d everv hour 

By cloudy masses scudding swiftly by ; 

Fields soon to smile in gi'eenness, when the breeze 

Leaves on the placid water ti-acks of light, 

Or, huiTying, dimples all the crj'stal seas 

A\*ith flecking foam and little wavelets bright, — 

nien everj' flower sings out its joyous s(.»ng ; 
The wo<Hl-aneniones, and violets after, 
Sj>ringing each Sussex hedge and shsiw among. 
Make all l)eholders glad with April laughter. 
The primrose ojKns all her folded buds 
In yellow l)eauty to the wooing sun ; 
IJeneath, thro' banks her lavish Innmty studs, 
nie fretting streauLs o'er stones and brauehes nui. 

Tlie celandine, and lilac lady's snioek. 
Warning the gjitherer of the cuek^KJ near ; 
Tlie white oxalis, and each old grey ro<*k. 
Whence glossy ferns hang down, to aitists dear 
In every graceful grtiuj) ; the knotted stumps 
Embroider'd with green ivy, the baiv down. 
With windclipp'<l oaks secur<*ly set in eluiii]»s. 
Meet our glad eyes, emerging from the town. 



GO HASTINGS IN APRIL. 

At eveiy step we take the cattle stare 

With great soft eyes, which ask when summer's coming, 

And days of grateful heat and tranquil air, 

Wherein their lazy worships bask till gloaming. 

Fast run the little dogs and snuff the earth, 

Or chase the flying birds with vain endeavour ; 

The cat considers if to venture forth 

And gieet on sunny flags the warmer weather. 

Round go the \%'indmill-sails, and children liie 

To various games ; the sick come slowly walking. 

Released b}' this spring day, and you and I 

Will pace the High Street for an hoiu*'s grave talking, — 

I mean that raised and sunny pavement, curb'd 

Above the road, and bounded by a wall 

Which dear gi-cen trees o'erhang, quite imdisturb'd. 

Save wnero our meditative shadows fall, — 

Or out into the country', to tliat Ixink 
Of bluc-l)ell and rod orcliis, you with drawing. 
And I Nnth Tennysnn ; no on^ature near 
But the quiet donkey iK*a<'efully hee-liawing 
Over the hedge. So much for Hastings, full 
Of sight and sound in A]>ril. Every time 
Of the long year liath nthei-s, lH.*antiful, 
r;iaddcning the lieart, an<l meet f^r duteous rhyme. 



( 61 ) 



STONELEIGH. 



Long winding lanes and hedges red witli bloom 

Of sweet wild robin, and staiT'd with tender white ; 

A snn down dropping gold on summer gi*een 

Of perfum*d woods, whose laced foliage shows. 

In sudden glimpses, depths unfathomable 

Of the far coolness, bower on bower of leaves. 

Various in shade and sliapo ; which following. 

They're lost in sudden darkness of thick trees. 

Or branch far up u^wn the dim blue sky. 

And here are nests of birds, whole colonies 

Of iK)ets singing ever ; nightingales 

As in old Grecian .woods ; not mournfully. 

But in glad bui-sts and far resounding calls 

Filling the air with music holiest. We 

Stay here awhile and listen : on the faint 

Sweet breath of the wind comes tuneful insect hum, 

Mix'd with a rustle of the swaying leaves, 

Bass to the birds' clear treble — ** IWautiful ! '* 

Trot on agstin. dear jK>nv, thro' boss'd stems 

Huge in their venerable age, green slopes 

Of tall June gi^ss, thick set with sorrel, on fire 

With poppies, royally gemm'd with buttercups, 

Bipe to the mowers scythe. The grove-cro^vn'd hills 

Swell up on either side, divinely raised. 

Stretching away with distant sunlit copes. 



02 STONELEIGH. 

On — crossing " shallow rivers ; " verily 

They must be those unto whose gmssy banks 

The shepherd woo*d his darling ; they flow by 

^Vith such a pleasant rustle over stones, 

'Mid moss and water-lilies, and eddies bright, 

And deeper lucent pools, where silver fish 

Dart ever to and fro. The lazy groups 

Of meek-eyed cattle saunter down to drink. 

And, standing ankle deep, look startled up 

At our unwonted wheels. By Stoneleigh bridge 

Are dotted cottages, with tottering babes, 

And smoke tliat ^vl•eathe8 against tlie trees and sky. 

I scarce can think, on this luxuiious eve. 
That dismal to^vns exist, tho* tapering spires 
Kisc far away, and warn us such there l>e ; 
Towiis with tho tlironged street and smoky air, — 
Towns with close alloy's breeding fever-plagues,- - 
TowHLS t»f siid men. Oh blessed smnmer sini ! 
As thou art to this landscape, which were dull 
And bare indeed witliout thee, so may wt* 
He to tlie shadowy places round us, full 
Of an interit»r radiance, slietlding forth 
A stedfast light of tenderness and tnith. 



( <5a ) 



KENILWORTH. 



Broad level fields, and hedges thick with trees, 

A calm still evening dropping fitful rain. 

And hawthorns loaded with theii* perfumed snow : 

All Nature languorous, and yet alive 

With humming insects and vdth bleating sheep ; 

A sky both grey and tender, — misty clouds * 

Floating therein, streak'd here and there with guld. 

And golden flowei-s topping the tall June grass. 

Ivy clothes all the ruins, sprouting weeds, 

Lichen, and moss for nehost tapestiy ; 

AVhile for festivity and regal pomp 

Held in the olden time, is nothing now 

But tune of children's voices, and the calm 

Quiet evening, misty on the niins. Far 

Over tlie fields are fanns and gardens gay ; 

And strong magnificent oaks, lK»neath whose 1miu«;Iis 

Twilight sits brooding ere she walks abroad. 

A soft moist summer eve, — 'tis Nature gi-ieving 

For the deimrt of Spring ; not yet the sun 

llath dried her thoughtful teai-s ; or else it is 

Tlie death of the Last Faiiy, and the flowci-s 

Hang do%\Ti their heavy heads in grief for her. 

I on this highest tower hiok far away 
Over this lovely England ; and I think 
There is a i»octr}' in our northern land 



04 KENILWORTH. 

Peculiar to itself: though it hath not 
The gorgeous colouring of southern shores, 
Peopled with hero shades and temple-crown'd, 
Yet we too have our tale of deeds sublime, 
And spirits haunting our green forest glades. 
And a grave meditation, bom from out 
Endeavouring lives and quiet sceneiy 
And summer evenings so divine as this. 



( «5 ) 



MARSH FLOWERS. 



Spiked reed and golden Iris bending over 
Low-running streams, and that small pleading flower 
W'c none of ns foi-get, ^^'itll foxgloves i-anged 
In rows of crimson bells, and many more 
From hedge and coppice and flat mai-shes, mal^e 
^ly glad mind wander forth where tliey were bom, 
When the dim da^xTi awoke with siuumer songs, 
And Jmie with glory crowni'd proclaimed the mora. 
With glory cro%m\l ! oh month of wealth untold ! 
From the high moorland sweeps the scented breeze, 
Gorsc spreads a golden iiavement under heaven ; 
Xo stars can pierce the woven forest-trees 
When night again hath lit her silver lamp, — 
Brooding above the homes «»f sleeping men 
And wide-spread plains of God, who slee^K^th not. 
Till all the dykes are lustrous once agiiin. 

Murmur, slow streams, and sway ^\'ithin the wind. 
Spiked reed and golden Iris, while the day 
Bivaks red u^xju the plain, the moon glows dim, 
And all the piled clouds are rolFd away. 



( fi<i ) 



SONG. 



I LOVE to lie 
In the dreamy heat of an autumn day, 
ANTiere the painted insects idly play, 
Floating about in the noontide ray ; 

Or at evening hours 
By tlie gillyflower on the old grey wall. 
And the scented pea, and the sunflower tall, 
xiiid the ivy trailing over them all. 

In the time of flowers. 

IJ}' the deep old moat where the duckweed gi-ows. 
And the drowsy strvamlct scarcely flows, 
Overhung with garlands of gay wild r<jse 

^Vnd hrj'ony, 
\\'h<*re mosses carjx't each sloping mound, 
And the white convolvulus t^^'^neth roimd 
'Hie clustered shrubs and over the ground, 

I h>ve t<» lie ; 

AMioro all is still, and warm, and bright, 
Or glowing with a chasten'd light, 
AN'hich fades away in a moonlit night. 

In evert/ time 
Ere the death of the fltiwcrs, while tlie wandering briM'/.*- 
Whi«lK}r8 and laughs 'mid the crowned trees, 
To the song of the birds and the hum of the bees 

1 would lie and rhyme. 



( «7 ) 



REMIKISCEXCES. 



1 SAT once more within a tamglod wood, 

Reside a qniet river, on who^e bneast 

A worid of trees look'd down admiringly 

At their o^-n beauty ; and the sportive fisli 

Leapt np, in their anviolatetl home 

Fearless of heart ; 'twas on an antrnnn day. 

And, save the dropping of a waterfall. 

Or the low plashing «»f a distant mill, 

Stnnul there i!i-as none ; the moss grew thick and soft. 

And niiiny a flower i»'ertopp'd the heavy grass 

With liiseions gifts of c<»l«»iir and jK-rfume. 

And then* I nse*l to hwc mysi^'lf amidst 

Tlie tales of old IJomance, with l»eatiiig h«»art 

Tremble lieneath the jMiwer of Merlin's si>i«ll. 

And follow where Sir I^iuncelot dii Lac 

Braved in the J^allg^eJd's cpiest the ]>owers <if hell. 

Nor less my faney ]K.M»pleil that giwii w<mk1 

With the ereati<»ns <if his magie ]»en 

Who caird the centnrii's fn»m their silent gnive. 

And iKide each graceful legend clianu again : 

I lovetl right well each high cliivalric name 

By him a second time eiisliriiKil in fame ; 

Dreamt of the Monan-h of Linlithgow fair. 

And wept with Constance or rejoiced with Clan'. 

On the still water when the sun went do^^^^ 
And the flowen* ntnlded on their slender stems. 



08 REMIXISCEXCES. 

And earth was hush*d, the angels spoke again, 

And coimseird, in their low sweet tones, to save 

Adain, of God*s deep love the latest bom, 

And his fair consort, from the snares of hell : 

Or Shakespeare led me where the summer fays 

Dance thro* the midnight hours beneath the moon. 

Old times, dear times ! no sentimental tears 

Shall mourn your flight : tho' wo may never read. 

With youth's peculiar fresh and wond'ring mind, 

Those glorious books again — from hindering thought 

And worldly care and worldly son*ow free — 

Yet ever to our elder years they biing 

A bright remembrance and a fitting charm, 

And what we lose in childish faith we gain 

In fond appreciating reverence ; 

^\^lile the young generations round us rise. 

And drink, unslaked, at our old founts of joy. 



( «. ) 



SONG. 



Clambkring up the rocky bank, 
Bnei's and honeysuckles fling 
Greenest branches unto air 
Fragrant in the early spnng : 
Streams let loose from Adnter's thrall 
Sparkling thro' the meadows play. 
And with silver voices call : 
Wherefore must I be away ? 
Crocuses by sunbeams lit, 
Hypaticas uf many dyes. 
Lose the lover who adored them. 
Singing sonnets to their eyes, — 
I, who knew each little n(K»k 
Where the early violets pow, 
I, who used to hail the snowdn»ps 
Softly blooming through the miow. 
All who used to \Hiv\t at na* 
Now unsought, unsung must Ik*. 
Every voice of Xatuix* calls me. 
Here immurVl must I ri*main : 
Ever in my dreams I whisjKT, 
** AMk'U trill summer come again 'f " 



( 70 ) 



WITH PRIMROSES. 



AViTHix a wood, no fiatrther from the sea 

Than you might hear the waves dash audibly. 

Those flowers grew ; the high hills, closing round. 

Made of the little dell a faii^' gioimd 

For wanuth and greenness ; never winter dure 

Invade the softness of its tranquil air. 

Adowni the wikhI a lucent stream doth bmwl, 

And earliest here the welcome cuckoos call : 

In the far distance white-sail'd vessels ride, 

Or tiny fleets uf fishers deck the tide. 

My picture is too faint, but it may briii^ 

S)ine image to you of the scenes I sing. 



( 71 ) 



THE OLD WATER-COLOUR EXHIBITION. 



Oh ! thoughts of Genius, clothed in hues divine, 
And sanctifying this timc-honour*d spot, — 
Oh ! sacrifices on the holy shrine 
Of Arts to God, by Him rejected not ; 
Most true religious teachers, ye allot 
A poition of Heaven's blessedness to men 
Shut up in weary to>vn, the darksome den 
Of much umnghteousness, who seldom see 
The gracious fonn of Nature, save in ye. 
Nature interjireted by Love is Art, 
Wliich, entering in the imnost spirit, calls 
Teal's from the eyes and blessings from tlie heart. 
And longing lingering reverence to these glorious 
walls. 



( 72 ) 



THE ALPS. THUSIS. 



Out from the house I went when early dawn 
As yet liad hardly tinged tlie peaks with gold. 
And cottage-smoke in faint ascending wTeatLs 
Stole from the inner dejtth of valleys old. 
At length upon a siiimy hill I sat, 
Looking at meadows, cattle-strown, helow, 
And upwards where into the clear blue sky 
Shot out the ta]iering jieaks of pathless snow : 
And many similes within my brain 
Stirr'd as if Nature sjHjke aloud to me. 
And said, ** Oli child that watcheth ever, learn 
That wliic'h I mean by my solemnity. 
Even as these high jteaks above thee rear. 
80 stand great souls above the ranks of men ; 
No summer warmth caresses year by year 
Grand heads encircled by a glorious i»ain. 
But if of verdure bare, thou must ni»t doubt 
Joys of their o\sn\ to such gieat souls are given ; 
Lonely they are ; but though forlorn of men, 
Tliey stand in the unchanging light of heaven. 
Oh child I receive their teaching; even as here. 
Below them, fir and flower are glistering bright. 
Wanner, more l>eautiful, the da\Mi descends. 
Till all the lowest vales are fill'd with light.'' 



I80O. 



( 73 ) 



CHIAVEMA ON A SEPTEMBER E^^;NING. 



Black eyes, imeartlily in their depth and fii-e, 
Gleam out from imder shade of trellis'd vines, — 
And faces cut more delicately than 
The forest-flowei's by God. Swart brows, and shapes 
Moidded by mountain air, or early ripe 
Amidst the feather'd plains of Indian com, 
Step (like old pictures out of golden frames) 
From simlit arches through the glowing streets ; 
And by the shiines the peasants kneel in prayer 
As in the time of Dante. Tall white towers 
Gleam on the steep hill-sides, and such sweet names 
As Leonato and Yincenzio, \vrit 
Above the cottage doors, bring vividly 
Bright fireside memories of our Englisli home, 
And Shakespeare teaching us of what he leanit 
When his great spiidt at midnight wandering went 
Far fi*om the moonlit Avon, to discourse 
With the ghost of old Time Past, and to drink in 
The secret spirit of things in stranger lands. 
Here lived (more real lives than many a man,) 
Those glorious lovers, i)atriots, soldiers, friends. 
Whose words are ever in our mouths, whoso di-ids 
Stand out for our example ; this the land 
Where Brutus, standing over CiesarV Vmdy, umhIv 

K 



74 CHIAVEXXA. 

That great oration which is now more tnie 
Than ever it was then. Oh land mnch loved 
Of all oiir northern nations ! age by age 
Thon lift'st among them thy yonng vigorons head. 
Queen of some new and nnexcelled realm. 
Thine was the Empire of the Sword, and thine 
The Boyalty of Faith, and thine the Soul 
Of Beautj' through external things transfused ; 
Now be the Doctrines of the centurv thine — 
The People's Progress and their wise self-rule. 
All eyes look on thee, all hearts yearn to thee ; 
For thee are prayers put up, for thee tears shed : 
Give thou thine own best strength, for all men lose 
AMiat thou, so dear, so honour'd, canst not gain. 

1850. 



( 75 ) 



THE PLAINS OF LOMBARDY. 



Heavily hang the ptirple grapes 
By fair Lake Garda's waveless side ; 
Above, in slow ethereal inarch, 
Battalion'd clouds in order ride. 
Oh Italy, dear Italy I 
Did thy sun but light the/ree, 
AXTiat earth, what sky, were so divine, 
So full of majesty as thine ? 

Fading away to formless mist, 

In gmnd long aisles thy mountains stand ; 

The flame-lit trails of broad-leaved vine 

Cling round their poles on either hand ; 

Or over stones of warm grey wall 

Droopingly hang like maids forlorn ; 

A foreground rich with white church-to wei-s, 

And feathcr'd spires of Indian com. 

Oh Italy, dear Italy! 
Often we dreamt of thee unknown. 
A far-off home, a jMiintcr's heaven, 
A heritage the iKXJt's o^\^l : 
IIow liave thy saints more holy seem'd 
Since wo beheld the earth they trod ! 
Where I^eonard worked, and Dante dream'd, 
And Baphacls thoughts were sent of God. 

E 2 



7ii THE PLAIN'S OF LOMBARDY. 

llie day is dj-ing, midst the blue 
A molten smi sinks slowly do^^Ti ; 
The earth is black, the purple hills 
Like heavenly shadows earthward thrown. 
Blind with the glory mute we stand. 
The glorious plains now lost in light ; 
And shortly twilight's tender veil 
Is lifted by the silver night. 

When we afer shall think of this. 
How glorious will the memorj' be ! 
A golden dream for northern nights, — 
A daily prayer that thou wert free, — 
A vision of beauty cheering us 
AVho labour under j^aler skies ; 
May God be with thee in the day 
When thou and all thv sons arise ! 

185U. 



( 77 ) 



GIOTTO, DA VINCI, TITIAN. 



Thkonei) high above these restless towns are thi-ee 

Great elder spirits, calm-brow*d and beautiful, 

As much inliabitants as any bo 

Who walk the streets to-day ; their hearts aix3 full 

Of ever-blessing kindness, and I see 

Th<.'ir pictured thoughts and smiles benignant shine 

Fi-om all the walls aroimd with love divine. 

And tlieir i>a8t words declare a prophecy. 

Time was when these groat spirits walk'd the earth, 

And time shall be when such again be bom ; 

llio sliining constellation of their birth 

Shall open to a wider glow of mora ; 

And all the pious thoughts these ancient works declare 

1^ by our children sung and painted everywhere. 

185<). 



( 78 ) 



HOME TO ENGLAND. 



We stand together on the deck. 
Around ns twilight fJEdleth fast. 
And the soft rain of autumn bears 
Its welcome on the fitful blast. 
That tender greyness of the north 
The late October day hath donn'd ; 
Save, over England, one pale streak 
Of amber tells of skies beyond. 

Glorious lands we leave behind us ! 
(Bleeding life from every jwre). 
Those groat native hopes which bind us 
Shall but make us love you more ; 
But wo feel your noble memories. 
All whose teachings we revere, 
Your grand skies and grander artists. 
Pale to life which waits us here. 

£v n as that faint streak of amber 
Si)caks of a clear heavenly air, 
England, prophesying nobly, 
Bids the nations not de8])air ; 
The great thoughts she rears i^-ithin her 
Waft a message o'er the sea, 
And we say, in swift approachmg, 
** All our heart is ^v^apt in thee." 

1850. 



( 79 ) 



THE HIGHLANDS. 



Hills that were bom of ages, 
Heaving slowly from the deep, 
Ai'e shaking down their tresses, 
Silver-threaded from the steep ; 
Curling shining tresses 
Streaming ever down the steep. 

Hills ! prophets of the future, 
Hills ! teachers of the past, 
Like monuments to mighty gods 
Uix)n the broad earth cast. 
Robed in the piuplo heather, 
Crown'd with the snow-white mist, 
Kings sit they all together. 
Vouchsafing to bo kiss*d 
By the tender simlight 
Only when they list. 

The unfathom*d lakes lie meekly 
Looking upwards to the sky. 
And image forth the monarchs 
As a dream or fantasy ; 
And tlio liill-wind runneth o'er them, 
Singing in yEolian strains. 
Singing of the earth's divineness 
To the dwellers in the plains. 



( 80 ) 



THE CATHEDRAL 



Fixe and strong 

'T has stood for long. 
Jetting up its slender lances 
Far athwait the arched sky. 
On Avhose tops the sunshine glances, 
\\ hile the birds wing brightly by. 

Fine and strong, 

A scidptured song 

Of forest hours, 

l»ouglis, fnut, and flowers. 
The oak, the vine, the summer rose, 
\Vith buds and bells no herbist knows. 
Twisting round each great stcmc column. 
\\ ith its iis])ect high and solenm. 

Fine and strong, 

lliick trees among. 
Statue fretted, each stem King 
Girt alK»ut with nival ring 
On his brow, and sceptre laden 
\\ itli his royal arms engraven ; 

F«»r all time, 

A fonn sublime: 

Never moving, 

Orieving, loving. 



THE CATHEDRAL. 81 

Ever lookmg calmly down 
From his post as from a throne, 
But one calmer than his own. 

Carven niche, 

Wrought in rich 
Knotted angles interlacing, 
Holds each fast in its enchasing, 
Divided by a slender shaft. 
JSIany a face grotesque has laugh*d 
Ages from the pipes. A Vii-gin 
Stands upon the porch's mai*gin, 

And the Child 

Thus long has smiled, 
Praying the weary and the poor 
To come unto his Father's door. 
Many warriors hereabout 
Lie, some with crossed hands devcmt, 
Under the blue sky, but others 
The great inner aisle-roof covers. 
Ah ! within 'tis all divine, 

^^'ith soften'd shine 

From every pane 

AMioso gorgeous stain 

Lies upon 

The pavement stone. 
Telling many an awful story 
Of the martyr days divine : 
While a dim torch-lighted glor}* 
Streams from every pictured shrine ; 
And the anthem slowly rolls 
Over the assembled souls, 

With a free 

Full melody. 



82 THE CATHEDRAL. 

God Almighty framed this church 
In the artiiit's mind I think ; 
Beauty's fountainB none may search, 
Save who religiously will drink. 

This for the Spirit 

To inherit 

Built he humbly, 

Ay, and durMy, 
We can but say some man once thought 
In tliis wise, nought else is' known. 
And with long endeavour wrought 
His thoughts divinely into stone. 



( 83 ) 



THREE SKETCHES FOR PICTURES. 



The sultry siin 
Bum'd hotter in December than the skies 
Of our far land in June ; within a bower, 
^Vhere all the lucent leaves were fill'd vnth light 
And shed it greenly round, a lady mused, 
While the laced shadows quiver'd on her face, 
As skimming clouds on earth, or thoughts in heart8 
Which drink their influence in. Down to the gruiuul 
Swept her long hair, stiller tlian scrolls of stone. 
So broadly curved her thoughtful brow, I said, 
** This is the model we liave waited for, 
By poets sought imseen ; still slow to take 
Her sceptre in her hand ; Fate's prisoner. 
This is the Spirit of Freedom, calm and fair. 
Which many lands desire. She bides her time. 
Within her awful eyes such sorrow dwells 
As shakes my heart with fear ; and yet I know 
When she arises not a tlirob or pang 
Will usher in her steps. She bides her time. 
When the far vhunder sinks below the sea 
She will walk forth to govern ; noiseless flowers 
AVill spring around her feet. Till then she hearK, 
With the stem patience only gods can feel. 
The groans which minute Time, — * Eternity,* 
(I read her thoughts,) * Eternity is mine.' " 



S4 THREE SKETCHES FOR PICTURES. 

Night looeen'd all the blackness of her hair. 

Which fell about her in an ample cloud 

Dropp'd >vith no jewels, veiling her blue eyes 

In ebon fringes, and a sighing sound 

Stole from her closed lips, as in unrest 

She 6way*d with slowest motion to and fro ; 

Then sat serene, and seem'd to search within 

The abysses of her soul and memory vast. 

And thoughts unkno^^■n to men ; and wept her houi-s 

(Her lovely starlit hours, choice gifts,) defiled 

By evU. cruel thoughts, and bloodier deeds. 

** Time was, when from my cooling urn 

I scatter d dews, and \^-ith my delicate hands 

Closed up the flowers, that sages lit their lam]i« 

And iK)nder\l heavenly secrets, keeping fast. 

Dark vapours hover now about my brow, 

And bad things seek their shelter. I am weak. 

And ti-emblo, jMiwerless to insjuro a pmyer. 

Whore art thou gone, my brother?" nini* the dim 

earth 
Soimded tlie cr}' of Night, and heavily 
Fell the large tears from her mist-blinded eyew. 
Now rjing the silver bells of l)a^\^l ; sweet smells 
Breathed from the wakening flowers ; a streak of light 
Was miiTor'd in the sea : and Night arose. 
Gathering her n»lK?, retreating towards the w^st. 
Till in its farthest deptlis her lofty form 
Was lost, and all her path refulgent shrne 
With jewels, and the Day, advanting. Kh<K»k 
Perfume and music fn»m his golden curls. 



THREE SKETCHES FOR PICTURES. 8." 

AspASiA, sitting crown'd the queen of souls, 

In days when Athens scom'd to own a king, 

Or Pericles to stoop on regal power ; — 

Aspasia, sitting under olive-trees. 

Shows in that company of noble men 

Like some rich clasp that holds a chain of pearls. 

Her fair mild eyes and broad Milesian brow 

Framed in thick rippling waves of gathered hair, 

Bright with the blue sky shadows ; one white hand 

Raised motionless in thought, which scarcely flows 

From the grave portal of her parted lips, — 

This poised majestic figure, sweet as love. 

Yet firm as all high hearts and loyal are. 

Shows like soft light between past troublous times 

And wars that folluw'd after. Not to preach 

Upon thy claims and honours would I bring 

Thy face to life in art ; but that thou hast 

The central place, the warm and himian chaiin, 

•JMidst records of the sovereign state, and art 

Unto a poet infinitely dear. 

Fair wert thou in thy noon of gracious deeds. 

Upholding and upholden ; beautiful 

Wert thou in marble Athens, beautiful 

Art thou enshrined in history ; nor less 

Tliat tliou art sliadow'd in a moimtain cloud, 

While meaner heads show clear. (O Painter! th(»u 

Who dwcUest in fair dreams, but all too sad ! 

Summon this grand shade from Elysium, 

And liaving held liigh converse, and embued 

Thy spirit with her smile, cast potent spells 

Over her beauty, and retain it here !) 



( 86 ) 



THE DESERTED VILU6E. 



Birds will pipe another spring 
Songs we shall not hear. 
Ancient Sabbath-bell will ring 
Vainly for our ear. 

Never more with willing feet 
To its calling shall we meet, 
Never more on smnmer^s day 
All together sing and pray. 

On our hearths will fires bum 
To which we shall not return 
Homeward when the nights grow cold. 
As we did in days of old. 

Here we leave our cradle's comer. 
Here likewise we leave a grave. 
Within which, a tired sojourner, 
One of us a rest will crave. 

Unforgotten, unforgetting. 
Footsteps faltering and slow, 
Uncheck'd tears our eyelids wetting. 
To another home we go. 

Hoping on, and ever hoping, 
Fiird with solemn trust ahvay ; 
With all evil bravely coping. 
Move we forward — God our stay. 



( 87 ) 



TO AN AUTHOR WHO LOVED TRUTH MORE 
THAN FAJIE, 



Not the sharp torture of the critic's pen, 
The curse of genius in our days, tho' scom'd, 
Nor full fore-knowledge of the ban which men 
Would set upon thee, Lady, have subom'd 
Thee from the simple tiiith ; nor that gay croAMi 
Of dry gilt leaves and roses overblo'WTa, 
Which intellectual cliques delight to give 
To wits and scribes of drawing-room renown. 
And they, debased, on bended knees receive. 
Weighs 'gainst the awful claims of that which ytni 
believe. 

What you assert the critics \^-ill deny, 
What you deplore pronoimce eternal law, 
Sneer at the echo of your bitterest sigh, 
At home lock up your book, abroad decry, 
Quashing your doctrine with some dusty saw. 
Sincerely vow'd to ever}' high cuumiand. 
And bent on duty with a stedfa^t soul. 
Truth for your only monarch, hand in hand 
With all wlio ovrn the same august control. 
No word of pity, if the storm should beat. 
Need any voice bestow which calls you dear ; 
You will not quail beneath the foolish heat, 
Nor mourn anathemas you do not fear. 
Truth is, your strong and loj-al heart vnll say. 
Of all her martyrs the sufficing friend. 



HH TO AX AUTHOH. 

And, when the lamp uf love has paled away. 
Will >vithout foil her own gi-eat glory lend. 
Oh voices raised in passionate protest once, 
Brave spirits from whose pains our freedoms spring. 
Who dai*ed your birthright of delights i-enoimce. 
And, finding God, feel rich in everything, — 
How long shall we your noble names revere, 
And wiite your actions where our sons may see. 
Your ancient utterance in our hearts ensphere. 
And, when your steps are foUow'd, turn and flee ? 



( 89 ) 



LONDON FROM HAMPSTEAD HEATH. 



Tkace on the husli'd earth fell at eventide 
As dew from heaven ui>on the thirsty giii>:s ; 
No sound uiunusical broke on the ear, 
llie fields all tranquil, and the watens C4ilm. 
Each drowsy flower lumg do>\Ti its gentle head, 
'riie munnur of eaeh insect died away, 
As, floatmg down, it sank with folded wing. 
Wear}' with play and happiness, to sleep. 
No va^Knir o*er the i>opuloiis city hung. 
Spread out in giiindeur on the horiziai's vergt* ; 
Hut dome and pinnacle and pillar tall, 
And all the royal works of royal men 
Ij&y carved in miniature Ix'fore my eyes ; 
And graceful gardens rearing amidst K]>ires 
Hich buniislfd hues of autumn, and proud piles 
Of cliarity (the gift of timorous death, 
Hoping i)cix;liance to cancel evil deeds). 
And halls of learning coiLsecrate for long. 
And giant fabrics for each social craft, 
Hie so-<.*aird cn»wn of these luxurious times : 
And there weiv mighty sepulchri's to men 
l*nhonour*d in their lives ; and tombs of kings. 
And ancient piteways into busy haunts. 
Full of the minleni s))irit of loss and gain. 
All in one vast confusion intermix*d. 



90 LOXDON FROM HAMPSTEAD HEATH. 

A noble city and a nation's pride, 
Set in a lovely frame of sloping hills, 
And girdled by a river, where the sun 
Qniver'd and danced, as glows a ring of fire. 
The radiance died away, and Night walk'd forth. 
Darkness and Sleep with her, her children twain, 
And brooded o'er the town ; yet many eyes 
Watch'd weary doubtless, and slejjt not till dawn. 
Then to the distant height whereon I stood 
Hose a sad soimd, which, filling all the air, 
(This to my fancy, not my waking sense,) 
Struck fear into my heart, as of one who sees 
Dimly the black edge of an awful gulf. 
And guesses at the unknown depth below. 
Musing, I closed my eyes, and visions rose 
In long array before them — of times past, 
And times to come ; and pictures of true life 
Even at the moment painting stirr'd my tears. 
Oh God ! this hour, thy gift, how rich it is 
In all we love of heroism, how black 
In all wo hate of sin! 

In one abode, 
Dark from the clouded air, remote from heaven. 
Or aught that nature made, were two that spake 
In whisper mournful, and with clasping hands. 
Tlioy were not lovely, nor of high repute. 
Gifted in intellect, nor mild of mood ; 
Two rougher spirits scarcely might bo found 
In all the city, but a spell was on 
Their darkened natures, and work'd strong >\nthin. 
And brought from out tlie abyss of evil days 
A touch of holier feeling undecay'd. 



LONDON FROM HAMPSTEAD HEATH. 91 

It was night ; 
Small sign of beauty or of wealth was there, 
Save one poor primrose diiU'd and dried with smoke, 
And one poor hmnan bud, than all more sweet. 
Which lay on a little couch ; its eyes were closed. 
But the long lashes quiver'd restlessly, 
And from the small pale lips a moaning cr}'' 
Broke, as of pain. Father and motlier there 
Sat in theii* desolation all alone. 
This was the first-bom and the only one, 
For whom they often hush'd their wicked words 
That he might learn no ill ; they pi*ay*d for him 
When reckless of themselves, and hoped the lad 
Might find some better teaching in a school 
Than they had found in gaols ; but now, no hope, — 
Tlie fiat had gone forth, ** The child must die ; " 
And wherefore ? KilFd by ver^- want and care ! 
It never play'd by marge of liver clear. 
It nothing knew of natural soimds or scents. 
Nor thought of things divine ; it only knew 
A coarse humanity, a Godless world 
Of streets and alleys, an avenging law : 
So, one of many children, thus it died. 
Father and m(»ther mouniVl it all alone. 
And weeping stood l>eside the little grave. 
While cold eyes look'd on them with curious stare. 
And then jmssM on ; fi»r not in churchyani green. 
Quiet and holy, in some nest alone. 
Was this gnive made ; no sound of village bells 
Luird him to sleep ; but where the rattling whei'ls 
And loud shrill voices 1>roke their darling*s rest 
Throughout the day, and all the dismal night, 
While yet he lingered on the drearj* eailh. 



y2 LONDON FROM HAMl'STEAD HEATH. 

There, in a comer, wth no stone to mark, 
Kail'd from die conmion stieet with open bars, 
lliey laid their boy, and back retiuu'd alone. 

Oh London ! great among the nations, great 

In thought, in wealth, and greater being free ; 

Who dwellest under thine ovm. magistrates. 

And say*st "My expressed opinion awes the world, *'- 

Oh mother city ! oft thy freedom seems 

One vast corruption of the eternal ties 

Which bind men to each other ! 



C 93 > 



THE WAYFARER. 



With a sweet murmur dropping waters play, 

Breaking the stillness of this summer's day, 

And all things beautiful and light and fair 

Rejoice, half sleeping in the noontide air, 

Or lie, dream-revelling, through luxurious houi;s, 

Children and insects, cattle, birds, and flowers. 

Oft in my childhood did I lie and think. 

As these do now, upon this river brink ; 

And watch'd the osiers swaying to and fro. 

Or oak-trees miiTor'd in the stream below ; 

And mfiny a nook, branch-bower'd, here I knew. 

Whoso unsunn'd water never caught the blue 

Of distant heaven in siunmer ; only green 

Of million lucent leaves and lK»ughs between. 

Tlience gazing out with happy dazzled eye* 

Over tliat boimteous land where ever lies 

A future lx?autiful to striving men, 

The land of Iloi^e yclept, 1 deom'd it then 

Begemm'd with flowers, and rich in mossy dales 

Soft unto waysore feet, witli i»iK.'n vales 

Of greenest pasture sloping to the sun, 

Where sparkling streams and i>lacid rivers run. 

O'er the blue hills the rolling white-ridg'd cloud> 

Wrapp'd peaks and lir-woods in their fleecy shroudis ; 

And mountains nwe in far recession, far, 

Wheixj dwellings fit fi.»r kings and prophets are. 



94 THE WAYFARER. 

Yet in those mountains many a deep abyss 
Yawns to engulf the traveller, serpents hiss, 
And in the twilight thickets many a danger 
Of man and nature lurks to greet the stranger. 
When all these terrors strike his trembling heart, 
Alone who enter'd, to alone depart. 
Shall he walk feebly in the appointed ti-ack, 
Falter, or, worse, with timid steps turn back ? 
There man}- a dark valley must he pass, 
Eying with strained sight the tangled grass ; 
And oftentimes the drearj' clouds will pour 
Unceasingly, and heavy thunder roar. 
No succour lies in love or kindred blood, — 
They cannot save him, even if they would. 

Oh ! yet above him is a glorious sky ; 
Around the joyful hcli)8 of nature lie ; 
Beside him ever Faith and Hoikj and Love ; 
Within, his thousand vigorous pulses move ; 
Beyond him, farther than his eyes discern, 
]\Iuch to bo conquer'd, everj-tliing to learn. 

Oh heart, l)c brave and tender ; eye, be true, 
Of visit »n keen to pierce all danger through ; 
Feet, Ix'ar your master manfully along ; 
Be his whole spirit teacliablc and strong, 
And joyful too, as standing in the light 
Of heav'nly hojx) ; for Gt)d*8 sun sliineth bright. 
To show all good men their right road, their prayer 
Gives light in darkness when the days are drear. 
Earth ! grant some cheering love, such love is due. 
God help the helpful, and uphold the true ! 



( 95 ) 



THE WATCH IN HEAVEN. 



When trembling angels stand aloof, 
Watching the fight with folded wings, 
Forbid or succour or reproof, 
And every hasting second brings 
News of the battle fought below, 
^^^lere Satan dares his human foe, 

God ! leave us not alone ! 

WTien morning dawns, and daylight breaks 

Mournfully into golden flakes ; 

NMien aching hearts and heavy eyes 

To meet the coming day arise, 

And wondering gi*ope, as in a di-eam, 

Midst things that are and thmgs tliat seem ; 

Finding that in our bitterest needs 

Our usiial Faiths were broken reeds, 

God ! hear us from thy throne ! 

That grief there is when ever}- light 
Seems deep engulf d in blackest night ; 
No hope, no peace, no comfort left. 
And Faith of its own croas bereft, 
Some know, all may ; what rescue then ? 
How sliall the wearj' rise again ? 
A power descends on striving metij 
Helping us that we live ! 



\)6 THE WATCH IN HEAVEN. 

More stiong belief, a deeper hope, 
More noble aims, a wider scope 
Of love and thoughtfulness, to heal 
All nearer hurts our spirits feel, 
We, Father, ask, who grieve and sigh 
As if no Christ were ever nigh, 
Who compass'd every grief that we 
Have known, though sharp our agony. 
And so, by wrestling, may at length 
Our very weakness teach us strength. 

All-Mighty ! hear and give ! 



( 97 ) 



THE CLOUD-FACE. 



Painted on a little cloud. 
Opposite the sunset sky, 
Far above the high-piled crowd 
Sailing slowly softly by, 
I saw a face, its tender rose 
Fi-amod in braids of golden haii* ; 
A beauty undeiivcd of eailh 
NVas pictured and suggested theie. 

Oh bcautifid beyond my thought ! 
Oh iK^autiful beyond my dream ! 
Half fiiding in the tremulous nought, 
Half merging in the golden gleam ; 
Spiritual as the blue, blue sky. 
And rich as any western ray, 
Most like some woman of the ])ast, 
\\'hose memory knoweth no decay, — 

Yet humanly ox])re8sion*d, full 
Of all that Nature teacheth, jwwer. 
Anil grace, and love, and tender joy. 
Unconscious as of any flower. 
Was it some heavenly minister ? 
Or uK*m<ir}- of mine own, more fair? 
Tlie golden braids were lost in stars, 
Tlie cloud -face melted into air. 

F 



( 98 ) 



REST. 



Deep heart and earnest eyes 
Seeking for rest. 
Finding a weight that lies 
Cold on thy breast. 
Musing on nearest ties 
Mournfully riven. 
In thy despair arise. 
Turn thou to Heaven. 

Humanity, gifted 
With patience and love, 
Tliereby should be lifted 
Earth's sorrow above ; 
Should read "w-ith believing 
llie words of the bond ; 
While dull hearts ere grieving, 
Shouldst thou see beyond. 

Strong will and eager mind 
Stri\'ing to mould 
Deeds to remain behind 
When thou art cold ; 
Choose thou the better ^mrt 
Written in stoiy, 
Live in man*s grateful heart. 
And for God's glory. 



( S9 ) 



LIFE'S RIVER. 



Ox the still water of our childish days 

The noonday blue and midnight heaven look down, 

Painting themselves, while eveiy droopmg flower 

Or kively human tiling which haimts its bank 

Lives in the miiTor with a fairer life. 

! *erchance some holy and love-gleaming eyes 

Gaze in our stream, or music-voiced pra^'cr 

Hippies the water and floats up to God ; 

But comes? a blustering wind, do eai-thquakes split 

Tlif trembling glol)e, does ^vinter s thralling ice 

IltMu in our little path, — and all the peace 

Of this our life is gone, and we go forth 

With troublous murmur to encounter man. 

Nay. less tlian this, the jx^tty trivial caix?s. 

The jnbbles flung by hand of idle lM»ys, 

The fall of leaves u)>on our waters, and 

The noiseless drop of an unceasing rain, 

Such little worthless trifles have tlie jxiwer 

To mar our glorious minor; no more stiirs 

Lose themselves, gliding thro* the dark twin depths 

And he who seeks to find within our bivast 

Aught <»f tnuiquillity (»r U>velineRs, 

Finds fragments of a thouwuid jumbled things, 

(''ircle i»u circle, and the roll confused 

Of unreflective wave succeeduig wave, 

V 2 



100 life's river. 

Grief restless and complaining, and past joy 
Sadder than sorrow, and a broken tale 
Of our life's picture ; many days must pass 
Ere the chafed waters gain their wonted calm, 
And then — the leaves have fallen, and the wind 
Has kill'd the flowers ; another time of year 
Has laid our love in the grave, and gather'd fogs 
Obscure the glory of the midnight stars. 

What then, sad spirit ? leaving field and glade, 
And thy sweet progress between blossoming banks,. 
There is no less a glorious destiny 
For thy vex'd waters ; stately ships shall ride 
In triumph on thy bosom, jiopidous toAvns 
Mui-mur beside thee, noble work be tliine. 
Till thou at last shalt lose thyself ^^'ithin 
The infinite ocean, and find infinite peace. 



( 101 ) 



THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS UNSEEN. 



We walk in inystories howsoe'er wo tread, 

And none loss awful that we see tlicm not. 

Or that our solemn musings o'er our dead 

In life's timiultuous whirl are soon forgot. 

All common things we take as if our due, 

We see no riddle in the earth or sky, 

Wq watch all beauty year by year renew, 

And then with casual speech wiilk coldly by. 

The miracle of never-dpng force. 

That revelation of a present God, 

llie torrent rushing down it« Alpine course, 

The tiny grass-blade piercing thro' the sod. 

We talk about, but do not feel ; the sun 

Ilains gokl on all the hills, and starry flowen* 

L(x>k up in gladness ; the young birds are flown. 

And soft sweet evenings mark the length'ning hours. 

And then, i)er]iaps, a child is bom, weak thing 

Oeated fi»r eternity, a soul 

At whose a<lvent the heavenly angels sing, 

Whom Faith and Hope and Love would fain control : 

But we, — upon its face wo do not see 

The spirit-traces, nor within its cry 

Hear marvellous whispers of much misery. 

Or peace, as may be, it shall labour by. 



H>2 THE EVIDEN'CE OF THINGS UXSEEN. 

Men die, we buiy them ; 'tis so much dust, 

Muscular, nervous tissue. Heavens ! what not ? 

*' He was a mo^ man, and Grod is just.** 

And BO we leave the corpse alone — to rot. 

Moral ? Perhaps ; yet he in former years, 

\Miile yet a man, did sin, or leave undone 

That which he sliould have done, and then the tears 

Down his pale cheeks repentantly would run. 

And he had inward struggles, and he still, 

Tho' rising bravely after every fell. 

Fought hardest battles with an evil will ; 

And by the midnight stars for help would call, 

ImiX)rtuning his God. The poor soul love<l. 

And left what he did love, and questioned sore 

The mysteries of tho world, and ever proved 

Tlie truth in those wise woi^ds of one of yoro 

^^^lo knew tliat he did nothing know. This man 

In truth was something more than flesh and blood : 

Not to Ix' lightly s^xtken t»f ; a plan 

Among the many of eternal good 

Ciuiniugly \vrought, and in him was the breath 

Of life ; but what is that ? It came at birth : 

From whence ? and how ? Was exorcis'd by Deatli ; 

Departing whore ? We know not. Pray, thou earth. 

And think on all these things, and dwell in awt.* 

Of holiness upon thee ; neither walk 

Regardless of divinity and law 

Writ in thy conscience. In thy daily talk 

Mingle sometimes these themes — all is twt plain. 

And amidst holy oracles we live ; 

Sliall their dim messages be all in vain, 

Or wilt thou into thought and action them receive V 



( 103 ) 



"LIFE IS OUR DICTI0XARY."-EMERSON. 



Deem not thy labours or thy sufferings hard ; 
The weaiy tmveller makes a tuneless bard. 
Wouldst thou to raise and comfort earth aspire. 
Learn thou her language first, and tune thy lyre * 
To such sweet music of familiar chords 
As maj'' give life and clearness to thj' words. 
How shalt thou breathe a chaim o*er wcepinj; eyes. 
Who never desolately gi-oan'd and wei>i ' 
How shalt thou tell of that deep peace which lii^s 
In faith, whose restless spirit never slept ? 
How shalt tliou diy those tears forlornly shed, 
Wliose eyes, imlesson'd, never watched their (Icuil i 
How speak of meeting to the lonely-hearted. 
Who never from thine o^vn beloved hast j^arted r 
How sing sweet ditties to enchant the child, 
Wien fair young eyes have never on thee smile<l 't 
Or teach Christ Jesus' loving doctrines, when 
Thou art thyself unloved, unsought, by men ? 
How that dispense which thou hast not received ? 
How give to otliere life, who hast not live<l ? 
Tliink not an emptj' form of words to lx>n*ow, — 
All know by instinct who has felt their somnv ; 
In vain thine art, — the mourner s crj* would Ik? 
** Thou 'rt ignorant, poet, of what aileth ?/«?." 



104 " LIFE IS OUR DICTIONARY." 

We counsel seek from judgment taught by years. 
But trust our heart-griefs to the wise by tears. 
He tortured most will most search out the pain, 
A tyrant's victim breaks the nation's chain. 
View then ihy grieving as a thing of worth, 
If thou thereby canst meet a grieving earth ; 
Ponder on tombs till thou hast learnt how much 
Of life's best treasure is encased in such ; 
Hold up to men the form of the Divine, 
And bid its radiance on their tear-drops shine ; 
Singing, O Poet, ** Once I wept with ye ; 
That hour is past ; now, overcome with me." 



( 105 ) 



MUSIC. 



Sweet melody amidst the moving spheres 
Breaks forth, a solemn and entrancing sound, 
A hannony whereof the earth's green hills 
Give but the faintest echo ; yet is there 
A music everywhere, and concert sweet ! 
All birds which sing amidst the forest deep 
Till the flowera listen with unfolded bells ; 
All wintls that murmur over summer grass, 
Or curl the waves upon the pebbly shore ; 
Chiefly all earnest human voices raised 
In charity and for tlio cause of truth. 
Mingle together in one sacred chord. 
And float, a grateful incense, up to God. 



F 3 



( IOC ) 



THE EXPERIEXCE OF ALL MEN. 



MiXE eyes are grown too dim with tears to gaze 

Into the future with that eager eye 

Which, in the fuhiess of mj- young amaze 

At this fair earth and various harmony, 

I bent on all things, hoping to descry 

A parallel in spirit ; but I found 

Such grief and desolation all around, 

And the air fill'd with such a moumfal cr>' 

Of human tones, that I shook off my dream, 

And comfortless arose. And then God s^mke — 

Have I not given thee xoork vsherein shall he 

A life s joy and abiding-place for thee / 

Time to thine eyes a fairy vision brake, 

Time does but perfect every noble aim. 



( 107 ; 



ENGLAND AND HUNGARY IN 1849. 



Oh cniel England ! standing coldly by, 
Wliile gi'oans of human creatures rend the sky. 
The mother's darling and the sister's pnde, 
And many a maid's Iwti'oth'd one, side by side. 
Send up the stifled sob and heai-tsick mrian 
Wliich break the jK^ice of God s eternal tlirone. 

Low-thoughted England I since you could not feel 

How dear to noble souls their countr^^'s weal, 

Consider'd <»nly in the liiir aspect 

Of rights which ask and which command respect : 

How the soul needs her ovm peculiar bread. 

And stricken honour Ihjws the sturdiest head. 

Were all material gtMnl to Hungary left. 

And only Mw t»f her desires lx*reft, 

Were only honcmr lost and mouni'd in vain, 

Oil Hamplen's P^ngland ! you might feel tliat stain. 

Hut ni»t alone her patriot »»r s;Vj!:c 
Weeps jts he pores u|M»n the sullied l>age 
Which tells how Hungsiiy to the heart was riven. 
And the lost Pleiad shone no nn»re in heaven. 
O cursed prisons ! festering where you stand 
With that bhick misen' whieli defiles a lantl ' 



108 ENGLAND AND HUNGARY. 

Lo, far and wide, paternal homes deplore 

The gay young feet which now return no more. 

When households gather round at break of day. 

And lips too sad to talk are fsdn to pray, 

The mother, gazing in a mute despair, 

Turns, sick and shuddering, from each empty chair. 

Oh England I slow to speak the indignant word ; 

Oh England I sheathing an ungenerous sword ; 

Deaf to the voices you have call'd divine. 

From each grey tomb you consecrate a shrine. 

Which say, *' Before you dare youi- homage pay. 

Do as we had done, had we lived to-day, 

Nor make us mourn who bend on earth our pitying 

eyes, 
Death binds our hands whose love for freedom never 

dies." 



( 109 ) 

THE LAST HOME. 

Where shall ye lay me ? not in foreign climes, 
Where stranger winds would sadly waft the imaccus- 

tom'd chimes ; 
Where my weary spirit would in pain a lonely vigil 

keep, — 
Oh ! in that distant land, I pray, lay me not to sleep. 

\Miere shall ye lay me ? not where mermaids sigh, 

'Mid the roughly chafing billows, so dolefully ; 

And, longing for the summer days, o'er shipwrecked 

sailors weep, — 
Within the waves of the deep dark sea lay me not t*» 

sleep. 

Where shall ye lay mo ? not on mountain brow 
Wliere the white snow lies, and the dark firs grow ; 
I do not love the precipice and chaism s yawning deep, — 
Upon the fi-owning mountain, then, lay me not to sleep. 

Where shall ye lay me ? not 'mid haunts of men. 
Where crime and poverty peep out from ever)' crowded 

den, 
WTiere loud the ceaseless bells would clang. Death's 

harvest-oars to reap, — 
Oh ! in the city's husy range lay me not to sleep. 

Where shall ye lay me ? far far away, 

AMiere freshly in the early 6])ring the dancing leaflets 

play. 
Tall poplars by my grave long watch shall keep ; 
There, by those I loved in life, lay me to sleep. 



( 110 ) 



jAI a r y. 



Waves which discourse, in a melodious whis^ier. 
Mutual knowledge "with the marshall'd clouds, — 
Murmur of Juno, which riseth up with Hes|)er, 
When the wing'd squadrons hover round in crowds,— 

Colours which change and melt at ever}- station 
Won by the sun witliin a glowing sky, 
Whose lawful order points a fine relation 
Linking tlie spheres of light and harmony, — 

Shadows which flit and fade on every pasture. 
Like to the flight of passing souls alx)ve, — 
Say, *' GrievtKi hearts, lay do\%Ti the cherish'd creature 
Let the grass quiver o*er our buried love ;" — 

All these are angels, offering no solution. 
Yet to my sickening mind they speak of i>eace ; 
Laying calm %\ing8 aliout our fierce emotion. 
Softly and lovingly they whisper ** Cease.*' 

Here on this hill-toj) lay her; she was lovely. 
Gentle, of knowledge \\'iKhful, brave to hold 
All Kiid fears silently ; the leaves sliall tremble 
And the binln sing alK)ve her quiet mould. 

As she loved Nature, so l»e Nature round her. 

^ may she l)est slec]*, so we best attain 

To wime com|K>sure, knowing Death ne'er bound her. 

And ere those trees lie low we meet again. 



( 111 ) 



TWO SCENES OF INFANCY. 



Quietly sleeping on its little couch 
Tlie cherisli*d infant lay ; its curly hair 
T\Wned lovingly about the tranquil brow, 
And droop*d caressing o'er its eyelids fair, 
As if to guard from hann some soft blue tinge 
Of those sweet eyes \^^thin their glossy fringe. 

Its small white limbs beneath the snowy ioUU, 
Models of infant beauty, strength and grace, 
Reixised : a childish smile of love and glee 
Rested upon the yet untainted face : 
Its tiny hands enclosed a scented flower, 
Cuird in its evening sjwrts at twiliglit liour. 



A year passM by ; and at the eventide 

A little child lay (juietly, — and slept. 

It*» innocent face was dew'd with tears as i! 

Some loving eye had lately oVr it wept 

In agony of grief : yet wliy were tears 

Shed for the pure in heart, the young in yean* ? 



112 TWO SCENES OF INFANCY. 

It is 50 quiet ; wlion we saw it last 

It smiled, as though some aiiy sprite had brought 

A vision of gay fairy-land, and woven 

The golden tissue with its infant thought ; 

And the little heart beat softly as it press'd 

A fragrant blossom to its snowy breast. 

Mother ! — ^in fonncr times the first-bom son 
Was vow'd unto the Loixl, and shalt thou now 
Murmur because Jehovah ch\ims his own. 
And sets liis seal ujK)n thy darling's brow ? 
Sliall thy devoted heart be found more cold 
Tlian Samuel's mother in the days of old ? 

Sever from tliat dear liciul one curly lock, 
And treasure it witli care ; ui after years, 
When gsizing on it, think the others wave 
O'er eyes that gaze on Christ imdimm'd by tears. 
Some truth, some warning made the trial fit : 
lie gave, he took away. Do thou submit. 



( 113 ) 



GIORGIONE AND VIOLANTE. 



I WAS a painter ; if I loved 

Her glorious face too mucli, 

It was that thought had car\'ed its lines, — 

I worshipp'd it as such : 

Hour by hour I gazed on her, 

And trembled at her touch. 

The earnest firo of her deep eyes 

Burnt all her thoughts in me, 

Each smile that trembled round her mouth 

Struck me inwardly : 

Her voice went shivering through my heart 

Like a spheral harmony. 

Thus soul and gesture blended were, 

(Such Trutli Ls truest Art ;) 

Her soul was as a shrine, wherein 

My hope was set ai)art ; 

And every thread of her golden hair 

Was twisted about my heart. 

And oftentimes I could not 6|x?ak, 
Because my reverence fill'd me so 
That when I strove her pause to bix^ak 
The words came faltcringly and slow ; 
It seem'd as though my thought met hers. 
And the double current would not flow. 



114 GIORGIOXE AND VIOLAXTE. 

So she to me was sanctified, 

A sjinbol full of meanings holy, 

The dove sat brooding by her side 

With eyes imstain'd by melancholy ; 

Her face was fill'd \%-ith a woman's pride, 

And my spirit bow'd before her wholly. 

Oh ! fear sometimes possessing mo 

Lest I were left and she were taken, 

** How could I paint again," I said, 

** For eyes which would no more awaken ?" 

Great God I— Thou hast Eternity 

For every love by Time unshake)) ! 



( "5 ) 



THE POET'S DEFENCE. 



*' Too many poets in the land!" quoth they, 

The stem and angry band who paced to meet 

The Master Plato in Elysian Fields. 

** Too many poets !" thunder*d -^schylus 

With knitted brow ; *' I form'd the glorious stage 

Of Athens, hew'd the perfect fabric out 

From that rough block which strolling Thespis left. 

Tlie sweet-voiced chorus moved at my behest. 

For mo Castalian deities, and they, 

llie linked three whom Aphrodite loves, 

Essay'd their matchless powera and stirr'd all hearts. 

My rites were sacred ; to presiding Gods 

Rose up sweet incense at the morning dawn. — 

* Too many poets !' poets are as priests, 

Tlic messengers of God, and I have dared 

To cast on Jove's injustice a rebuke. 

Singing the rock-boimd Titan, and the scourge 

Whipping the matricide athwart the world. — 

Ilast thou, O Plato, nobler lessons taught, 

Tliysclf ! in all thy pliilosophic pride ?" 

Then six)ke his gentler rival, loyal bard, 

ITie prince of x)oet8 and a wai-rior brave, 

Gifted by Nature and refined by Art 

Till Athens boasted him the pride of Greece. 

Stately and sweet his voice, recounting how 



1 1 6 THE POET S DEFENCE. 

lie had incited men to glorious deeds 

By visions of the old heroic time, 

Clausing the stem and rugged hearts of those 

Unused to throb at pity's gentle pangs 

To bleed, compassioning Electra's woe, 

To die with Ajaz, and to quench the ^yro 

On which Antigone gave life, with teara. 

** Oh, why, " said they, *' denounce our godlike craft; 

For s^nne degenerate bards who play'd us false. 

And dimmed the biightness of our Attic Crown ? 

Our swords are double-edged and can pierce thro' 

The heart of virtue or the heart of vice 

Av.\\n\ling to the wearer ; we, the bold 

Tnio poets wielded them to raise the right ; 

Others, to further their base private ends. 

Have seized our weapons with injurious hands. 

Far into future days, in barbarous rwibus. 

Midst men whose vei^' language is miboni, 

ShtUl o\ir nimies echo %\'ith a golden ling. 

And tmiu the youths to virtue link'd with thine, 

A tnuue glor}' streaming from the tomb 

Of our loved land, where woi-ship shall Ikj paid." 

They oetised and strode away, but whether he, 

The «\ge, A\'as moved in heart, I do nut know. 

N\> sign or gesture made he, and his eyes, 

Fix*d on the gro\md in musing, told no tale. 

As time flew by, fresh crowds came ^wuring in, 

A KtJ-auge and motley concourse ; over Styx 

Old I'haron femed souls from cveiy land. 

The young, the old, tlie guilty, and the pure. 

Statesmen and soldiers, actors, fools, and kings. 

And hero luid there a cro^^^lC'd star, who lit 

llie pitchy river vdHi a moment's gleam 



THE poet's defence. 117 

Of serious lambent eyes and glistering locks. — 

These, as they landed, ever bent their steps 

Unto the Master, and in lofty tones 

Rebuked him for his false accusing words. 

Among the crowd, one, with a gayer fece 

Than most, came swaggering ; the Sabine Bard, 

The Roman Priest of Song, with grape-leaves crown'd 

And tendrils of green ivj" intermix'd. 

** I' faith," quoth he, in his sweet easy voice. 

And tender'd Plato sundiy vellum leaves, 

Whereon were writ some lines, unforced and few, 

In liquid fire indited, which flashed up 

Like eastern jewels, or the dawning beam 

Shed by the sun on dew-besprinkled vines. 

In clusters hanging on Falemian hills, — 

** I' faith," quoth he, ** these summer songs shall be 

Torches enkindled on the sea of Time, 

No waves shall whelm them, and no breezes kill, 

Or deep night quench their lustre. They shall float 

And glitter miiist the surges, dropping fire. 

Read these, old Plato ; I waiTant they will chafe 

Thy dull blo<xl to a quick and dancing flow ; 

Thou hadst no odes like these in thy life's day! 

* Too many poets !' When humanity 

Shall lie i' the sun and dream, and wear}' cares 

Cease to weigh down the fainting hearts of men ; 

WTien Pelion shall on Ossa be upheaved, 

And men or Titans climb their steeps to heaven ; 

WTi.en Time shall fold his wings, impartial Death 

Cut down the beggar's boy and spare the king's ; 

Then from thy pillow banish songs like mine ! 

Meantime I sing the glories of the grai)e, 

The midnight revel and the morning chace. 



118 THE poet's defence. 

Preach patience to the poor, and teach the rich 

How peace can dwell upon a Sabine hill. 

• Too many poets/ Plato ! Monarchs love 

Such wit as mine to speak their, victories ; 

Toung maidens love to listen to my lyre 

(Jove's benison on their sweet eyes !), and boys 

Sing o'er in treble tones my martial strains. 

There is much honesty in me, old sage, 

Much sober thought amidst my jollity. 

Much maxim wise by rattling tongue enforced ; 

Did I not ceaseless warn of life's brief span, 

Tlio approach of night, the unerring stioke of Death, 

To rich and poor alike, harsh summoner ? " 

** Of Death," said Plato, " yea, to bid men drink, 

And waste the night in tumtdt ; to besmear 

Tlic stately Eoman face vdih purple wine, 

And all the long bright hours of summer days 

Hy glittering foimtains stretch their lazy length 

Beneath gicen canopies, jesting to maids 

With water-pitchere on their graceful heads. 

A worthy citizen of mine wcrt thou ! 

A guide in our Republic, verily ! " 

The Sabine Poet stood, — and on his bi-ow 

A serious shade stole quietly, while thus 

He answer gave the Athenian ; ** For mine age 

I was scarce worse tlian other men ; they loved 

Tlioso ruystVing Ronums of th' Augustan age — 

To cpiufT the bowl and sing of ladies' smiles ; 

But in this was I noUer — I have ^vrought 

Hich imager}', legends of the past, 

Hcplete with glorious music — and with tears. 

1 soften and refuie ; my name shall last 



THE POETS DEFENCE. 119 

Long in the loving hearts of men, a niche 

Kings should be proud, most pix)ud, their form should 

fill; 
And for the imperishable good I did, 
Mine e\'il be forgotten by mankind." 
Virgil the stately spoke, and pleaded well, 
And many another, (poets flom*ish'd then. 
By kind and wealthy patrons entei-tain'd.) 
Then came a pause. Tlie Master calmly sat. 
Rolling in his imfathomable mind 
Tlie mysteries of eternity and time. 
But strange phantasmagoria flitted by 
An in a magic mirror, shadowings faint 
( )f matter pending upon middle earth. 
All l)l(X)dy wore the brows of those dim shades 
Of hintor}' floating in the silent air : 
A noble city saw I, crown'd with towere, 
A In irde of hungry' savages, with eyes 
TntrajuVl to iKjautj', and with murderous hands 
Ht'struying miracles they could not frame. 
Tlie city sack'd, the fierce fires qucnch'd in goi*e, 
Tlic cries of maidens and the wail of sires, 
.\inl then a drear}' prospect, as a sea 
W liiih, fretted into foam by tenll>est-\^'inds, 
Ami whirling all things to its hungr}' maw. 
Frets and foams on, although the ^\^nds fall do^\^l, 
For many dangerous nights and cheerless days. 
I siiw the sequence of the Fall of Home, 
Discord and murder stretching thro* long lines 
Of far Kueecssions, fathers cursed with Si^nis, 
Brothers with brothers, and young oq>han*d Ixjys, 
lX*i>endent on a treachennw uncle's care, 
Wrestling for cro>\Tis : the blow, the bowl, the knife. 



120 THE poet's defence. 

The midniglit strangle, and the secret wave, 
Dark hate and rapine, haughty lord, cmsh'd serf. 
Rumours of ^vars and wars, the land untill'd. 
The forests deathful, and the liberal arts 
Banish'd from Europe to an eastern realm. 
And 6ubdi%'idcd into quibbling schools ; 
Wliile the Church Militant upheld the Cross, 
And wrcstling on, stiTick down but undismayed. 
Fought for the mastery with none to help. 
And by her subtle penetrative power 
Won surcly day by day. She, flinging by 
Her gold hari^ wreath'd %vith lilies, stood complete 
In armour of the Faith, a glorious form. — 
So pass'd the %n8ion in infernal shades, 
(For yet Elysium is, — inhabited 
B}- all brave Pagans till the voice of Christ 
Shall sweep the mists away) until anon 
Soft sunny gleams did seem to shoot and start 
Athwart the jiicture, and tliis chaos 'gan 
To roll more orderly-, and whispering chords 
Were hoard at intervals, ill tuned jKirchance, 
The prelude notes of song, the faint essays 
Of Poetr}' wakening her dumb strings to life, 
iEolian guesses after vei*Ke divine. 
As each strain died, a dim and flickering light 
Shone on the diirk-waved river, last a Flame 
With laughter bursting from its thousand rays. 
And playing round the arch Italian eye, — 
llicn his half-bruther, ** ^lomingstar of song,'* 
Tlie jnlgrim >\'ith the gentle woman face. 
The loyal knight, whom every virtuous dame 
Should honour for his women-honouring verse. 
The gay but tender jxHit, ** \vii\i a tear 



THE POET S DEFENCE. 121 

Dropped in his wine," — ^these two, witli zeal inspired. 

Did straightly unto Plato bend their way, 

Tliough heaven awaited them, and all the saints ! 

To these a fieiy train of light sncceeds, 

They come, they come, and make a day of night ! 

Tlie souls of men expand in one gi*eat song ; 

The world's discordant noises, ciies, and shiieks. 

Are canght into the increasing hannony, 

And dl'ov^^l'd in tempests of melodious notes. 

They come ! they come ! the Je^vish bards arise 

From their long slumber in monastic cells, 

And take their station by each cottage hearth, 

Vocal with Da\4d and inspired by John. 

\\ha,t said the Master ? Nothing ; but kept fix'd 

His eyes enrooted to the voiceless groimd, 

\Miilc Styx grew luminous, and Charon smiled ! 

For one at his riglit hand told such strange tales 

As even Charon's heart might not resist. 

He had a genial look in his tliin face. 

And eyes infused with sylvan tenderness. 

Being bred up by Nature where slie dwells 

Hai-d by a silver nver ; (which l)ears on 

His name for ever to the world-wide sea.) 

He, mixing ^^^th the brother liards who thi*ong'd 

Around the Grecian blaster, s|>ake one word. 

And that woi*d ** /V<i/o," but ^%^th sucli a voice. 

So rich in 1)lending of all moving tones. 

Such tremulous teai-s were in it, yet such miilh. 

Such wisdom and such human s^-mitathy, 

Such soft pathetic music fill'd that voice 

And rang in the word ** Plato," that auiazed 

Tlie Master lifted up his unuiing eyes. 

And, stirr'd l»eyond his philosophic creed, 



122 THE poet's defence. 

The lofty poet heart within him woke, 

And made confession '\\ith unshrinking lip : 

'* I wrong'd thee, ay, I wrong'd thee, and thou art 

In thy vocation greater of the two ; 

I saw, when late Earth's vision met mine eye, 

How she to music ever onward rolls. 

The music poets make. If base or mute 

Their golden harps, the glorious motion fails 

Or flags uncertain ; not my vaxmted lore, 

My most persuasive ai^uments, can move 

The rugged spirits of an age as thou ! 

Therefore, if I be reverenced as thou say'st 

I am and shall be, ma}' my words endure 

Wherever they are good, but for that speech 

Wherein I slander'd poeti^', — blot it out. 

Riot out the evil memoiy and forgive I *' 



( 123 ) 



MY OLD HOUSE. 



I LIVED in an old house, you ne'er saw one older. 
The wind whistled loud when the winter set in ; 
But I don't see why whistlmg need make the placf 

colder, 
Nor why m not stopping ci*aeks there should be ^in. 
Ah ! poor little thing, dear little thing, — 
I've grieved like a child since I heard that 1k-11 
ring! 

Well, Sii-, my old house had two rooms on a floor : 
With one window, pray why should I pay to have more V 
And as to the water between the bricks welling. 
Folks may talk, but I'll never do things for their tellin<; ! 
Why, yes, the bad air in those two i-ooms, I cami. 
Was enough, I was told, to knock any man dcAMi : 
But Lord, Sir I I've lived and am now forty-six. 
And the saw says j-ou'll scarce teach an old dog new 

tricks. 
I dirty ? Indeed, Sir, you're quite wrong I know : 
None cleaner in Hastings ; and if folks say so, 
'Tis because we're like cats, Sir, and can't abide water? 
All our family, Sir, and >vife's brother, Tim Carter. 
Ah-! piK»r little thing, dear little thing, — 
How Tim did take on when he heard tliat V»ell 
ring! 



124 MY OLD HOUSE. 

I Imd uuc little daughter, Sir, fresh as a daisy, 

Shu niade our old house joyful tho' it was crazy ; 

My darling ! a bit of red tipp*d her soft cheek. 

She could just run to school on her wee toddling feet. 

Then caiue the hot season, no breath of air stirr'd, 

T\n3 roll of the sea was the only sound heard. 

And do^^^l on tho beach it was worse than elsewhei'e. 

The Devil of Fever seem'd riding the air. 

All ! poor little thing, dear little thing, — 

1 dreamt his long thin fingers made that bell ring ! 

1 do not know why, Sir, indeed, I can't tell. 

Why the young ones about us did not die as well ; 

'Tin nonsense to talk about houses, say I, 

I like my old house, tlio' they call it a sty. 

So the fever came on, and it touch'd hero and there. 

In the strangest chance way that you ever did hear; 

Tao/ did say the deatlis might be simun'd with liad 

drains, — 
if you think I think that, you're a fool for your |iains ; 
But my jxH)!' little thing, my dear little thing, — 
I scarce know what I think since I heard that l»cll 
ring! 

So the fever came on. Sir ; my wife, stricken down, 
('As knowing a soul. Sir, as lives in the town, — 
None of your ne^^'fanglod cranks about her^) 
W ill never l>e well in this world. Sir, I fear; 
Anl ].<M>r little Tolly, Sir, all the long day 
Lay tossinjj^ in agtmy, moaning away; 
llei hiii^ht hair was matted M-ith fever, and didl, 
it lay oil my ann, Sir, who pnded each curl ; 



MY OLD HOUSE. 12.5 

Towards night, Sir, her pretty blue eyes became dim. 
But her little parch'd lips still kept muttering a hximi 
She had learnt at the school, or some queer notion bred 
Of the hot fever poison would run in her head. 
Ah I poor little thing, dear little thing, — 
She died like one mad, and I heard the bell iing l 

Indeed, Sir, tho' she was my darling and pride, 
I was thankful at heart when my poor Polly died. 
We buried her. Sir, safe at rest from her pain ; — 
And I, Sir? — Went back to my Old House again ! 



( 126 ) 



EARTH'S QUESTION. 



"Toleadalifedivino?" 
This is the question which, with upward stnfe, 
Earth to herself proposes, asking ever, 

" How shall I lead tliis life ? " 

And in her infancy 
From east and west accoi-ding answer came, 
Poet and priest the doctrine taught and bless'd, 

** Divinit}' is Fame." 

In a more ix>lish'd age, 
** Poor toilsome fools, fiiir women, fairer wine, 
Purple, fine linen, pictures, statues, gold. 

Beauty is most divine." 

Long-bearded sages tlien 
With still more scorn their own solution gave, — 
** Thought is the only good to he desired. 

Leave matter to tlio slave." 

God gave a helping word, 
But Earth was blind, and would misread the sign, 
Sajnng, ** It means, deny, ftwt, scourge, and ]»ray,- 

Tho ascetic is divine." 



EARTHS QUESTIOX. 127 

And now we, year by year, 
Do painfully spell out our golden inile. 
In woe for its neglect ; the wisest men. 

The little child at school, 

Learning that wisdom, art. 
Denying vow, world's honour, are but slaves to love, 
Whose law encircles us with a command, 

Ev'n as its pleadings move. 

\Vc are not free to choose. 
But ever find our portions strictly meted 
When we look purely for them, and a sign 

Of blessing if completed : 

.Set in a narrow groove. 
In <iur obedience alone made free 
With freedom worth the purchase, and enjoin'd 

To work it silently : 

Which following 
In meek surrender, — '* Not my will but Thine '* — 
Ik, in its as^iect, fruit, and consciousness, 

Indeed a Life Divine. 



( 128 ) 



THE REPLY OF THE FAIRIES. 



Where do we hide when the year is old, 

WTien the days are short and the nights are cold ? 

Where? 
When die flowers have laid them down to die 
And the winds rush past with a hollow sigh, 
And witches and fiends on their broomsticks ride 
Where do we delicate fairies hide ? 

Where? 

Sjnie of us borrow the white mouse skin, 

( i )ur gossamer dresses are far too thin,) 

And get up a ball in the palace of ice, 

With a hop and a skip we are there in a trice ; 

And we don't go home from these midnight balls 

Till the sun lights up our diamond halls, 

We don't go home till morning. 
The queer old elves of the Northern land 
Welcome our beautiful fairy band. 
Praise our eyes and our curling hair. 
Our nimble steps and our music rare, 
Our golden cro^Tis and the gems we wear, 

And all our rich adorning. 

Sometimes we fly to the noonday isles. 
Where summer for ever unfading smiles, 



THE liEPLY OF THE FAIRIES. I2l* 

And crumple the tropical flowers for beds, 
WTiei-e fairies nestle their small tired heads ; 
But when the stars of the South shine bright. 
We chase the firefly thro' the night ; 
WTien the tigers growl and the lions roar 
We fly over their heads and laugh the more, 
And pinch their ears and theii' tails for spite, — 
These are our games on a tropical night ! 

Sometimes we visit the children of earth, 

And take up our stand at the social hearth ; 

We hover and sing by the conch of pain. 

Till tlie frighten'd dreamer smiles again : 

We polish the lash of a deep-blue eye, 

And hush the troublesome baby's cr}% 

And make mushrooms grow on our verdant rinj^s,— - 

Are not we fairies good little things ? 

As the dormouse curl'd in its darkeii'd gmve. 
As the mermen and maids in the ice-bound cave. 
As the poor scarlet-breast when it longs fL»r a cnnnb. 
As the naked woods when the birds are dumb. 
As the torrent penn'd up in its glittering sheath. 
We welcome tlie sight of the first green leaf. 



'i :« 



( 130 ) 



RIDING SONG. 



Away ! away ! o'er tlie hills to-day, 

Where the sunshine lies and the waters play, 

Or where in the depths of shadoTNy gloom. 

Flowers of the forest in beanty bloom, 

A hazy blue o'er the distance shed. 

And green boughs tangled above our head. 

Our gallant horses are prancing on, 

Their sleek necks gleam in the autumn sun. 

Their glancing eyes are bright with glee. 

As they gallop o'er meadow and woodland free ! 



Away ! away I o'er the hills to-day, 
Je weird leaves on the branches play. 
Mocking in sport with their autumn dien 
The bumish'd hues of the orient Fkies. 
Bright is the foam on each clear green wave, 
lliey dunce with joy as the nhore they lave. 
As niern* an they are our horses and we 
As wo rush o*er the hills and in sight of the sea ! 



Fjwtor and fjwter for ever IM go. 
Till I'd circled the bounds of this earth IhjIow. 
Joyously bl<»ws the autimin breeze. 
Kissing the shy and slirinking trees. 



RIDING SONG. 131 

Insects yet sport in the freshening air, 

Koyal robes doth all nature wear ; 

Away ! away I o'er the hills to-da}', 

Everything is at careless play, 

As merry as they are our horses and we 

As we rush o'er the hills and in sight of the sea ! 



( 132 ) 



THE TEACHING OF CORNELIUS. 



Great Spirit of an ancient faith, 

Heai- my vow, 
AVliich I thy solemn shrines beneath 

Oifcr now ! 
With time and toil and heart and hand 

To live as they 
Who glorified ai-ound me stand 

At peace alway. 
Uneasy fear and restless hope, 

Longing for love, 
Ambition eiigcr for more scope, — 

Behold above 
The meek C'hnst nail'd to cruel Cross, 
Tlie heart-struck Jolm, — 
What is thy petty gain or loss ? 

Vain dreams, — begone I 
Oh God ! pour strength on my weak soul. 

Who fret and faint. 
Such as in tluit most a>\'fid moment stole 

On friend and saint. 
Who h(3lds iLs heart to heart it mattereth not, 
If Tliou, who h<»ldest all within thy hand. 
Wilt say, ** Well done! " ujxm our outward lot 
Thy blessing oft is burnt with fierj' brand. 
If we, thus humbly reading, clasp it close. 
Accepting every law which lies therein. 



THE TEACHING OF CORNELIUS. 133 

Thou (who hast covenanted) "wilt unloose 
Our hearts from longing and our souls from sin. 
Tlie love abash'd, the shuddering dread, the fail 
Of hopeiul courage, unheroic fear, 
All that we cannot conquer, being fr^il, 
God of the Faithful ! help thou us to bear ! 
Alone, O tender Christ ! we cannot be, 
When every street we pass is mark*d by thee, 
And glances bom of thy great Spirit shine 
From fellow-faces with a light di^'ine. 
Oh, look'd we clearly on the sharp ascent 
So many elder pilgrim-feet have trod, 
Seeing the End, we should not dai-e to faint, 
Nor speak of loneliness — ^alone with God ! 
Help of the Faithful ! my full heart to-day 

Was sad and weak. 
I said, " Before some altar I will pray, 

And Ho will sjjeak." 
And Thou hast spoken ! All thy words are sure 

And surety give, 
I will more bravely all henceforth endure. 

More humbly live. 

Ludwig*s Kirche, Miiuich, 



( 134 ) 



LITTLE SARAH. 



Ye who though unseen are near, 
Guai-d her from all hami, 
Watch her well, encompass her 
With every potent charm ; 
Bend above her slumbers, 
Kiss her waking eye, 
Soothe with your sweet numbers 
Each feeble infant cry. 



Away from every danger 
Besetting baby feet, 
Turn her little footsteps far. 
Guardian angels sweet : 
Ever on her (piict lot 
Your watchful gazes keep ; 
Shadow lier and shelter her. 
Waking or aslee]>. 



( 135 ) 



THE OLD PALACE GARDEN. 



We dwelt in an old palace near to Rome : 

It was decay VI from its magnificence, 

But not less beautiful than when the sun 

Shone on the freshness of its marble i)ride. 

Those fair Italian gardens of old time ! 

Sloping in many terraces ado^^'n 

A gentle hill unto the southern beam ; 

Such was our father*s. Many fountains leap'd 

With murmuring music in the soften'd light. 

Or, hush'd to quietness by age, crept forth 

Lazily from the overflowing brim 

Of each carved basin, and, slow trickling du\ni, 

Deei>en'd the gracious hue of tuify lawns. 

There in profusion glow'd such gorge<»us flowers 

As thou of northern birth hast never seen — 

The paler children of thy English home 

Exulting in Italian warmth and light : 

Burning red roses, and the 8no^^y heath. 

The lofty silver kkI, the asphodel, 

*Midst stately verdant walls of closest tiini. 

Wherein our ancestors took such delight : 

Ha^vthom and myrtle hedges, and thick wreaths 

Of honeysuckle flaunting in the breez.e ; 



136 THE OLD PALACE GARDEN. 

Wild brier and i\y, and the golden fringe 
Of gorse, o'erhanging many a craggy bank 
Of the Campagna, we transplanted there ; 
Such passionate flowers, daughters of Italy, 
Where everything is beautiful and strong. 
Then in those gardens were rich gems of art, 
Nymphs, Fawns, and Diyads car\'ed in living stone. 
Instinct in grace, who peopled solemn groves 
With genius, tho* the master-hand were cold. 
From the steep terraces we looked abroad 
On Eome and all her towers, the far expanse 
Of verdant loneliness aroimd her spread. 
And the bhie moimtains melting in the sky. 



( 137 ) 



TO BIRMINGHAM. 



Dear smoky Birmingliam, since long ago 

I left your native streets, my heart and hope 

Have been ^vith those dense crowds which daily flow 

Over their pavements, finding ample scope 

For meditation and for thought-bom plan 

Of active life within the destinies 

Of these my fellow-townsmen. Every man 

Inherits a great memory, how was won, 

Hardly, the first of many victories 

Over Feudality ; and a command 

Insep'rably goes with it hand in hand. 

That, as the father strove, should strive the son. 

Therefore, brave Town, say to thy best ones, ** Rise, 

Leav'ning the masses with your energies." 

May every eflfort as the spring-dew fall 

On a prepared soil, and, like the ore 

On which you spend your labour, may there si)ring 

From out your social depths a noble power 

To cope witli and work out each worthy thing. 



( 138 ) 



TO ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING. 



I WAS a child when first I read your books, 

And loved you dearly, so far as I could see 

Your obvious meanings, your more subtle depths 

Being then (as still, perhaps,) a mystery. 

I had no awe of you, so much does love. 

In simple daring, all shy fears transcend ; 

And when they told me, ** You shall travel south," 

I chiefly tliought, ** In Florence dwells my friend I" 

In those fii*st days I seldom heard your name, 

You seem'd in my strange fancy all my own, 

Or else as if you were some saint in Heaven 

Whose image took my bookcase for a throne. 

As time went on, your words flew far and wide, 

I heard them quoted, critically scann'd 

With giuve intentness, learnt, half moumfullj-, 

That you were a great Poet in the land. 

So far, so far from me, who loved you so. 

And never might one human blessing claim ; 

Yet oh ! how I rejoiced that you were great. 

And all my heart exulted in your fame ; 

A woman's fame, and yours 1 1 use no words 

()f any careful beauty, being plain 

As eamcHtness, and quiet as that Truth 

\\'hich shrinks from any flattering speech \y\X\\ i)ain. 

Indeed, I should not dare — ^but that this love, 

Long nursed, demands expression, and alone 

Speaks by love's dear strength— to approach near you 

In words so weak and poor beside your o\mi. 



( 139 ) 

TO ELIZABETH BLACKWELL, M.D. 

At New York. 



I SAW you seated in j'our lonely room, 

Of human friends forlorn, of spirits fiill. 

Who gave you comfort in your solitude. 

And spoke to you in accents beautiful. 

Hearing your voice, unknown, my spirit leapt 

(Which, knowing, I have learnt to call so dear), 

Fond memorj' of that firet hour have I kept, 

Tho' scantly its result recorded here ; 

But in my heart such thoughts to it belong. 

As hath, of its little fount, a river deep and strong. 

And now to those far shores, I say, God sj^eed. 
Where I have never been, but often mow 
That anxious heart will of your imth take heed 
And daily pray success may crown your brow, 
Shedding it« glory on your quiet face, 
\\'hich needs that l>aptism, dear friend, no less 
Tliat you are strong, upheld in no embrace, 
And, deeply natured, if unbless'd could bless. 

By years of loving hojKJ at length fulfilFd 
In our true frienihshi]), by a conmion aim, 
Hy weariness subdued and doubtiugs still'd. 
By joint allegiance to a slander'd name ; 
By tliat eternity towards which we speed, 
By glorious faiths we would incarnate here. 
By ties which nor of space nor time take heed, 
I charge you, going hence, to hold me dear. 



SUxMMER SKETCHES. 



( »« ) 



SUMMER SKETCHES. 



[Lilian writing at night in a little countiy inn. Liglits are 
upon the table, and a jug, from the grotesque mouth of whicli 
immense ferns and foxgloves tower upw^ards, and cast trembling 
graceful shadows upon the wall. All the implements of an 
Hrti.<»t lie scattei<ed about the room, and books lettered "Ger- 
vinus," **Ke;its," "Ruskin.** A low hum of voices comes frt>ni 
the bar of the inn, and the night iivind rustles softly amoni{ 
the trees of the garden. Lilian smiles to herself as s!u- 
writes.] 

Dkar Helen, in your smoky to^\*n 

Forget not that I love ycm well. 

And often in my studies brown 

Walk with you where Paul's thunderoUN l>ell 

Warns citizens of hour of noon ; 

lliLs siiid, (because the month of June 

Is sentimental, and the moon 

( 'ommands <nir feelings to expand, ) 

I take our travels up in hand. 

Say, Kivi-r (io<l! whoso fountain rills 
Gush joyfully midst Cotswold Hills, 
But whom thn/ London doomed to run. 
White feet of cautious Naiads shun ; 
When daily blear'd by London fogs 
Tliou circlest round the Isle of Dogs, 



144 SUMMER SKETCHES. 

Does not thy mighty bosom heave 

Once more Heaven's radiance to receive ? 

Ah ! when the misty mass recedes 

And thou regain'st thy crowned reeds, 

And flowest grandly towards the sea, 

A\ ho, Father Thames, more glad than thee ? 

Our childhood, as his founts serene. 

Developed in a busier scene ; 

Oh, weaiy London, e'en in June ! 

Oh, dusty streets ! oh, dusky muon I 

Joyful as e'er I wish to be, 

(Joyful, tho' even leaving thee,) 

That hour, when after biief confab, 

I started in a Bond Street cab, 

T<i where converge, like rays of h'glit. 

In one broad focus of delight, 

From windnilTd sea and chalky ndgi-. 

Three southern lines at London Dridg**. 

(.)h, what a stonn of cai-jn-'t-bags 
Aiiil panting folk was th<Me ! 
How madly waved the signal flags. 
With what a grantl despair 
l»an ever}l)ody to and fro, 
Such railway stations only know. 
The p(irtei>* (clad in Lincoln green) 
Da.sh right and left in h.tste ; 
Music acct)iiipanicK the strene — 
Of steam let out to waste. 
And while the caniagcs are fllling. 
Cosmos is selling for a shilling! 



LILIAN S FIRST LETTER. 1 45 

Great aiithoi-s I had ye only known 
That while ye coin'd j'our bmins 
To such grand words, they would be sown 
Like seeds broadcast, in trains ! 
The hum subsides, the doors enclose 
A hundred people pack'd in rows, — 
Our train, at sound of signal bell, 
Stai-ts foilli, like soul released from hell. 



Cast thy light pen away, my muse, 
Some gi-aver influence seek and use. 
Frame words of more i)ei-suasive jiower 
To paint a different scene and hour, 
And with what thoughts, on wings < if wind. 
We left the world's gnat Heart bi hind. 

Oh, drear}' London, dark with siiK^kc, 

But more obscured by ciime. 

On whom no morning ever brc»ke 

Fit to be sung in rlmne. 

Oh, drear}' streets that well I know ! 

Oh, stifled households nursed in w<»e I 

Oh. hapless children never crownM 

With purity diN-ine ! 

Young hearts in which no peace is found ; 

UnchristenM by the sign, — 

The outward sign of inward joy. 

Bora heritage of girl and l)oy. 



14<> SUMMER SKETCHES. 

ill those green fields towards which we flew. 
Kind hearts are labouiing with the Lord : 
Here, for a space, the laws eschew 
Their keen hereditary sword ; 
Hard justice, to compassion won, 
Regrets the sire and spares the son. 

Perhajis across the oblivious sea 
These boys shall build a fairer fame. 
In social kingdoms yet to be 
Trani<niit an honourable name. 
And scarcely blush as they recall 
Those distant scenes which saw their i'lU. 

i^Ki'HiLL inspires no gloomy page, 
* r is lit ^^'ith light from future days : 
'J'his is the purix)se of the age. 
Which all fulfil in various ways. 
From oveiy rank upsprings the cry, 
•• (iather the chihlren, lest they di<\" 

Fiom theft, from diink, from sensual sin. 
(Listen, O women, meek and pure,) 
Snatch tliese poor children, bring th«.-iu in 
By th(iusands to your homes secure, 
'Hiey wail, from many an a,vrfn] den. 
** () save us ere we grow to men." 

Fain would I ^\Tite one lalxmrer's nam*-. 

Did reverence not withhold my hand : 

Work sueli as this alfects not fame, 

A dew of kindncKs on the land 

It falls in vivifying niin. 

Sinks deep, and asketh nought ngaiii. 



LILIANS FIRST LETTER. 147 

Yet none the less the public heart, 
With its full beat, her name will bless 
Wlio fills that hard and anxious part, 
A mother's, to the motherless ; 
Tho*, if beheld, it should but raise 
One only thought, — ** Be silent. Praise" 



On thro* those wooded slopes once more, 
The fiery steed puflfs on before. 
An ichthyosaurus, dead as nail. 
Boasts no such length of jointed tail. 
At Dorking we abjured the train, 
And started, in a gentle rain. — • 

A i>ure soft i-ain, whose drops between. 
Tall hedges shone a brighter green ; 
'Iliick hedges darkening into bowei-s. 
And lit %vith such a wealth of flowers. 
And topp'd with such rich wide-boled trees 
As only England ever sees. 
So drove we on by winding lanes, 
(WTiere soft the nightingale complains.) 
Past CDltage home and house of squire. 
Kose-clustcr'd school and luftier spire, 
V&st tmnquil pool and ancient mill, 
Hemnant of pile more stately still. 
Whose arched door and window shows 
That here some prayerfid abbey rose. 
Deep lie the shadows in the pool, 
Litxul laugh the children out from school. 



148 SUMMER SKETCHES. 

The yellow light of evening steals 

lliro* cloudy veil, and now reveals 

Blue curling smoke against the leaves, 

And moss-grown thatch with populous eaves. 

We all stand up, and round us peer, 

And stop, — for ham and eggs, at Shere. 

Secluded is the vale of Shere, 

Old cliarms of England linger here : 

And, while mine hostess gets the tea, 

(The commissariat falls on me,) 

We, so few hours escaped fi-om to^vn, 

Most joj'ful wander up and do^^^l. 

Two great trees overhang the porch. 

Beyond whose branches stands the chuich. 

(3h, happy pai*son preaching here. 

Oh, happy Chiistians taught at Shore, 

Oh, happy spirits looking down 

On gi'assy giuves so far from town ! 

I almost think 't were sweet to lie 

(Tho* yet uncaird) 'neath such a sky. 

Dimly to hear the sauntei ing tread 

Of some glad artist overhead. 

Or the light chimip of the biixis. 

Or musing poet's murmur d woixls ; 

To lie, imchiird by moi-tal pang. 

While childish voices prayM and s:ui^. 

Then all this golden world should serin 

Like picture in a midnight dream, 

And to the sleeper every sound 

Be in thin silence muffled round. 

Thro' which the heart might only feel 

Love's sweetness, not its sorrow, steal. 



LILIAN S FIRST LETTER. 149 

From Sliere we slowly drove again, 
(Not this time in a gentle rain,) 
But thro* thick hedges, as before, 
By skies that deepened more and more, 
Till twilight brooding o'er the scene 
Saw us deposed on Ockley Green. 

Ockley is a model village, 
Planted mainly amidst tillage ; 
The tillage on that wholesale scale 
Which doth in England much jirevail ; 
Xo garden-fanns of dainty trim, 
But all things with an ample lim 
Of hedge and gi-ass, a double charui 
in every feitile English fann, 
A swuct concessit »n to the need 
( )f Nature for hur roud.side weed, 
A f.iir appeal to humau sight 
And Kimplc l>e;iuty'8 lawful right. 
And now that whitu-wingM eagles fly 
Tu whore juima^val i>asturi*.s lie, 
And England, with a welcome hand. 
Can gjither com from every land, — 
That far and wide, in virgin .soil 
Which i>iiys an hundredfold to toil, 
A »Saxon nation digs and delves. 
Leave English wimhIs to P^nglish elv<'s. 

(Jckley has a church, a sjiire, 

A many -generat ion M S<piire, 

Straight roiids which cut it left and nght. 

A noble green by Nature dight. 



150 SUMMER SKETCHES. 

Old houses quaint and weather-streak'd, 
And troops of children rosy-cheek*d. 
The anival of an alien cart 
Makes eveiybody look and start. 
About the roads, inspiring awe, 
Stalks one sole guardian of the law, 
Before whose stem magnetic eye, 
Murder and theft, — supposed to fly, — 
Leave the dear village free from 'vvi-ong. 
The very theme for pastoral song. 
Him, as he strolls beneath the trees. 
The timid Dryad, wondering, sees, 
And the shy birds salute \viih eyes 
Distended to a roimd suipiise. 
Here, when the moniing, broadening over 
Glonous fields of vrhcut and clover. 
Strikes on every glistening leaf 
And kisses all the fiis on Leith, 
llie sense of freedom, rest and calm. 
Falls on the to^^^l-sick heaii: like balm. 

Ockley has a village school, 

You |>a8s the well, and next the \x)o\. 

When a fair building meets the eye, 

Framed with simjile symmetry. 

Above the portal, jijiiss it not. 

Are writ i)lain words, a name, — Jane Scott. 

Kest, gentle Woman ! nobler far 
In this thy deed than nobles are, 
Thy puqK)»o breathes a living breath, 
lliy voice of weakness s])caks in death. 



Lilian's first letter. i o i 

Nothing know I, Jane Scott, of thee, 
Save that a teacher's name was thine, 
A function, worthily dischai-ged^ 
More than all else divine. 

That sickness held thee long enchain'd, 
Thy duty, wrested from thy hand, 
Left thee, mild sufferer, detain'd 
A waiter on thy Lord's command. 

Tliis also know I, noble thoughts 
And happy visions cheer'd thee then. 
Whose ripen'd fruits were blessed gifts 
And spiinging seeds for men. 

\o vain bequest of wealth thou gav'st, 
What labour eam'd, to labour given, 
Hnmght health to many a toiling framt- 
And little souls to heaven. 

<)bo<lient t<> thy kindly will 

The well's bright water upward rose. 

And a shy flock, untrain'd before. 

The schoolroom's blossomed walls enclose. 

And these two springs of nobler life, 
Fii*Kt flo%\nng from thy wise decree, 
Cany a blessing far and wide 
And sing i)eq)etual mass fi>r thee. 

To nn', who muse lK*neath the elms. 
Thy spirit seems to hover liear, 
And watch, with clear benignant eyes, 
The tranquil scene in life so dear. 

w A 



152 SUMMER SKETCHES. 

Ah ! often have I thought that though 
Thou bore no mother's precious claun, 
Some heait which gave thee all its love 
Now scarcely bears to meet thy name ; 

And mingling with the general voice 
A deeper note of love and pain, 
Turns from this spot with sadden'd steps, 
Full of a past recall'd in vain. 

Thus link*d to earth by many a tie, 
The memory' of the just is sure ; 
The %videning influence lives and grows 
As yeai-s their puq^oses secure. 

And I, a stranger, taught by thee. 
Shall honour and forget tliee not. 
And blend with thouglits of saintly deeds 
Tliosc plain words eloquent —Jane Scott. 

This littli; inn, our calm alxnlc, 
Abul« upai a count ly road. 
Sole fantcner, and link to bind 
L's with the rest of all mankind. 
(Simple my worib*, it were a tax on 
Sense to sjKJak in aught but Sax<»n 
( )f this little moilel village 
Planted mainly amidst tillage.) 
Yet this little rose-fringed lane 
Is an adamantine chain. 
Politics and piety, 
Friendship and philosophy, 



LITJAN S FIRST LETTER. 1 53 

Histoiy, novel, song and sonnet. 

Absolutely hang upon it. 

Slight electiic shocks of thoiight 

By its agency are wrought, 

And prevent a dead stagnation 

In the village circulation. 

•Some of London's vigorous blood 

Flows along this country road ; 

\Vesley's tracts perennial flow 

In from Tatemoster Row ; 

Tea from China, gi*»ipes from Spain, 

Ti-avel <m this roso-fringed lane : 

<)r sunburnt pedlars ^nth a bale 

Of cotton, silk and wool for sale, 

Bnng Paisley, Leeds, and Bolton here. 

And —charge commission very dear ! 

Here we have a hoiisehold plan 
Framed withoiit the lielp of man : 
The hostess holds an even sway. 
And tho* 't is here at chxse of day 
The village worthies love to walk. 
And take a little ale, and talk. 
Vet, like the ebbing of the tides, 
Duly thf' mnnnuring sound subsides ; 
Silence »nnd Time their vigil k«*o]> 
While thr tirrd household sinks to sb'««p. 

Till* brrakfast hour, at half-past eight. 
Sees us in the sunshine wait ; 
?]lla, with a nistic air. 
Twisting ro.se8 in her hair. 



154 SUMMER SKETCHES. 

Catching at them where they grow 
The other side a paling low, 
Fifty blossoms all a-row. 

Oh, dear to me the simple flowers 
Which bloom in gardens such as these, 
Let jasmine shine in ladies' bowci-s, 
And myi-tle fringe the southern seas. 

Let gentians star primceval rocks, 
And pierce the late-dissolving «now, 
But give me gilly-flowei's and stocks. 
And those sweet gardens where they grow. 

T like grey walls with ivy hung. 
And roofs wheix) flickering shadows play. 
Old apple-trees where birds have sung 
While generations i>ass'd away. 

Thick hedges shaven fine and neat. 
And vrild ones whore the woodbine creei»s. 
All clumi>s of blossom smelling sweet, 
.VU grassy banks where sunshine sleojis. 

Tall firs like sturdy sent me Is, 
Elms habited by cawing rooks. 
And lilies ringing various lu'lls 
To prayer and pmise in shady nooks. 

Let India boast her fan-leaf *d ]):iln). 
And Lebanon her cedar trees. 
Give me a summer Sunday s calm. 
And garden iiird >\'ith flowers like these, 



LILIAN S FIRST LETTER. lo.* 

And any song that I can sing 
Will ovci-flood my lips in rhyme ; 
My heart, possessed of every thing. 
Forget the sense of space and lime. 

All sori'ow softly melt away, 
Dissolving in a lainbow shower ; 
And I, for one long happy day, 
Dream that 1 am a soulless flower. 

MLI.W. 

Ji'.ne 26t\i, 



150 SUMMER SKETCHES. 



LILIAN'S SECOND LETTER. 



Xo letter, Helen ! Dear, the days ai-e long 
In which T Icam not of the deeds you dn : 
Prefaced -with such a mild rebuke, my s(^ng 
Must draw some nowsful answer back frrnu ymi. 

AVhat would you learn ? About a summcj *s <lay " 

From where I last conchided, 
I *11 trace the ji»umal of our work and play 

Amidst these scenes secluded. 

Tlie hrmr was half-past eight, supposi* 

Ella (with tlie aforesaid rose,) 

Saunters down the avenue 

\Cit\i the letters (none from you). 

Now, as they 're no concern of mine, 

My faithful painting T '11 re-sign, 

And tell you what in me arose 

When T saw P]lla with her rose. 

Tliis avenue, (I call it so 

Because the lunlge-row oak-tnvs gi*ow 

Bohlly right and left, and forai 

A shelter to the heaviest storm. 

Lacing firmly over hea<l. 

And bar the road with light and sha<h». j 

Framed her like a portrait old 

In a rim of green and gold. 



LILIAN'S! SECOXD LETTKR. 1.57 

Suddenly to memory flew 

Words of one -svli; m (jnce I knew. 

He is dead, dead long ago, 

Summer leaves and winter snow 

Lie upon him where he lies, 

And do him tendeiiiess by turns ; 

He left an echo in the skies 

Which is not silent, often bums 

Some little word before me, bnght, « 

Lit, I think, with immortal light ; 

Some bar of music fills my ears, 

And only ga there strength bj' yeare. 

Often 1 was 's\Toth because 

He fell beneath the widest laws 

In his philosoph}^ loved more 

Some midland fann than mountain hoar. 

Sought Nature in her sunniest bloom, 

And hated women leaving home. 

Yet he had an instinct fine 

And pure, could nobleness divine 

Where'er he foimd it, ever paid 

Strict reverence to wife or maid : 

Willing to leani and apt to find 

New forms of beauty to his mind. 

So, lying once amidst the gias.s, 
Where the s^vift bees did o'er him pass. 
Yet almost hover'd to his eyes, 
He searched the deptlis of azure ski us ; 
Losing liimself, as all well may. 
Where that blank softness melts away. 
Building ideals up in space. 
Their beauty mirror'd in his face. 



158 SUMMER SKETCHES. 

Divine reflections from a thought 
In hannonies with nature wrought, 
And then in idle joy he sung 
This lyric to a listener young. 

** Pure and saintly must she be, 
The lad}"^ who could meetly fill 
The shrine of my idolatiy ; 
Very fau* and ver}' still, 
With a halo round her thrown 
Of her ovni bright locks of brown. 
Fitted both in fonn and mind, 
A virgin yoinig, to be enshrined 
In some ancient gothic fane, 
Where, as in a lK)wery lane, 
Cai*\'ing delicate and rich 
Should enframe her sacred niche. 

** I '11 have ui) name of regal sound. 
No Clcoi)atra jewel cro\\ii'd, 
Xe*er a dame of monarch's court 
With a cold unflinching iK)rt : 
My love must 1k» stately too, 
Ere I cundi^scend to woo ; 
Not a gentle timid thing 
ShelterM 'neath a parent's wing. 
But one who might a pilginm 1h\ 
Secure in her own purity. 

** Never saw I yet the dame 
Who might my allegiance claim. 
Only in the still midnight 
O'er me floats a vision bright. 



LILIAN S SECOND LETTER. loi» 



Dreaming I imagine faintly 
Of a thing so pure and saintly 
As the Lady who could be 
The shrine of my idolatry." 



Here comes Fanny. Water hot ? 
I put the tea within the pot 
And sound the call to breakfast, we 
Are a snug party, only three ; 
Ella, Mistress Clare, and I, 
Escaped from eveiy social tie, 
Dwell at this iim, and fur the rest 
Live just the life that suits us best. 
And for this jiarenthetic season 
Opine we are at square witli rea-sun. 
Mucli hearty laughter you wouhl hear 
While we attack our simple cheer, 
Much grave discoui*se steals in as well 
On wlmt the daily i)ai>ei>j tell. 
Oil. what a change one century brings 
In dyna.stics and gieator things! 
Ifthcjse iHKir pigmy slicets had kno^^'^l, 
In thought j»roi>hetic funvard flo^\•n, — 
Those slieets of seventeen fifty-tliree, - 
What sort of paitera ours would l)c. 
What sort of news our scril h's indite, 
I think they w<»uld have died for sjiite I 

They said, ** The Arrow, without fail. 
Will start on Tuesday with the mail; 
The passengei-s, if lKx>k'd fi>r lirihtul. 
Would very wisely take a pistol." 



160 SUMMER SKETCHES. 

Or, ** Mr. Bro-svn of Holbom begs 

The public to inspect his kegs." 

Or, "It is nunoTir*d that a book 

Will soon proceed from Doctor Snook ; " 

And tiny tattle of the time 

When Richardson was in his piime. 

Now what a mighty voice is that 
^^*hich every passing mom awakes ! 
It stoops to tell no idle chat; 
Such thunder in its rising breaks 
As well attends the ship of state 
When all the ^vinds are big with fate ! 

\N'ith eager hands we loose the strings 

And long to leani a thousand things, 

For in this ctuni>ass tightly curl'd 

We hold the log-book of a world ; 

The daily journal kept by man 

Of how he woik>; the Etenial Tlan ; 

Close-printed e'»linans pack'd with thought, 

I'lich with ptcMiliar lalvjur wrought, 

A giant in eftit-ient power. 

And Inmi tt» die witliin an hour, 

And tlion, euiluilin'd as llistorj^'s self, 

KntcHiVd on a nniseum shelf. 

Let us hear of foreign friends, 
Let us hear of noble ei.ds 
Wisely g-ainM, <»r that new Ixmd, 
Framed Atlantic waves beyond. 
To bind refoiTuers and recall 
A Church that shall embrace us all. 



161 



(Perhaps you did not note that page, 

Most cuiious index of the age. 

Their creed and sen^ice was to be 

Devotion to humanity. 

Not rendered to a soulless clod, 

But man as child and heir of God. 

And fui-tlier, since on every side 

Those who subscribed lived fir and wide, 

They each and all, in sepai-ate ways 

Should offer up their work and praise, 

Only, to fan this flame sincere, 

Hold a great conclave once a year !) 

Ah, gluriuus dream ! Ah, prophecy 

Of tinic« I Ciiimot hi»pc to see ! 

Wlien some gi'cat thought, new-cloth'd in fonii. 

Shall rise and take the world by stonu, 

ITie all-including Church rostorc. 

And make us ( 'atholic once more. 

But ,unr^ — these stones of various dyes, 

Tnlike in strength, Jind weight and size, 

Xor yet adapted each t<» each. 

Will hardly build a bridge to rc»aeh 

A htable causeway for our noud, 

Aci-oss the yawning giilphs c»f creed. 

Vet not in vain the proplu^t paints 

A grand c«ainnunion of the saints. 

The thousjiud subtle links which bind 

Pure souls of an according mind. 

Draw them together even here, 

Exixjctant of a nobler splKie. 

Their lettei-s fly like shuttles swift 

Between them, and the rarest gift 



162 SUMMER SKETCHES. 

Of each the others still receive, 
Magic communion they weave, 
^^^lich, like that famed Arabian mat 
On which the wandeiing hero sat, 
Caipets for them a meeting place, 
A chui-ch beyond the bounds of space. 
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, 
I do this outward bond mistmst ; 
I think a neighbour nearness sways 
All action in these milroad days. 
Til it all who sympithise in aim 
Do f Jim a chiu'ch without a name, 
And tighter bond no man can frame. 

Yet none the more, when some plain coui-sc 

Of action is to be pui-sued, 

Di) I mistmst the tnple force 

With which all L'niox is endued. 

I trust the coming days will show 

Wide systems whit-li we dream not now. 

And our louse units move with awe 

Ol>edient to hanuonious law. 

Stand forth, thou s]>ectre ginm and gaunt. 

Dim dweller in Cimmerian haunt, 

Shunn'd by the pnidi*nt and the good. 

Ued-N]) »tt«'d with the stains i»f blood. 

A sicnt of evil elogs thy name, 

England rejects the word of shame. 

Vet 1 Kdieve the day will come. 

When thou, blight rolnd in heavenly bluoni. 

S])int <»f soeial older named, 

No more reviled, no muiv disclaimed. 



Lilian's second letteh. kv.) 

.Shalt shake thy hem from lawless stiife, 
And lead us to the nobler life. 



1 see a vision in the future, fair 

As sunrise over stoi'my waves at sea. 

It softly shines in amber fields of air, 

And lies embalm'd in floods of hannony. 

\\*hiter than snow its polish'd marble towei>«. 

Whose lofty poitals speak a statelier race. 

Greener its groves than any groves of oui-s. 

Windstin-'d they tremble with a subtler graci*. 

Poets and ai-tists built these arching halls. . 

Devoutest wanions walk these halls among. 

And women of an aspect that recalls 

No ancient Goddess yet reno^^^l'd in song. 

But something more divine, their children i»lay. 

Young naked Titans, bathed in rosy bloom. 

And the calm Angel Death persuades away 

Fulfiird existence to a dreadless tomb. 



Again our speech flies far and \N'ide, 
Our thoughts strike fire on every side 
For not a questi<»n raised of bite 
Is from its feUows isohite. 
But books that treat of large and less. 
And jm'achers echo'd by the press. 
And the gieat glorious world of art. 
And poets dreaming dreams apart. 
And science scattering hour by hour 
Si»eds of illimitable power. 
Seem to obey one law's behest, 
Forgo no hxise link but fit8 the rest. 



H)4 SUMMER SKETCHES. 

And that one aim wliieh sways the whole 

Is — ^amplest growth fur every soul 

And this includes the Nvidest scope 

For our more individual hope 

Of richer culture, nobler use 

In our o^vn lives, to interfuse 

A pui-pose and a unity 

Wliich, self sustain'd if need thei-e be, 

Shall bind, where loA'ing hearts aspire 

To offer sacrificial fire, 

Two lives in one hanmmious aim. 

Diversely wrought, Imt still the same. 

Ah ! with no careless pen would I report 
Our woi-ds on such a topic, 't is a text 
For di^'ine sermons, did the angels preach, 
Its bearings wide as half the huiinn race. 
Let no untimely deed, no crude dc^in." 
Vrofane our aspiniti<m, it should rise 
And swell and broaden like the blessed light 
Which mcimeutly, yet ^\'ith so soft a sound 
\Ve cannot hear its coming, ojk^uk out 
Its silver wings and mounts the slopes of «lawii. 
It should, like an accumulating fl«x»d. 
Gather its forces from a thou.sand rills. 
Until by its unquestiimable might 
It sweoji the rocks away, yet scarcely show 
A foam-flako on its lx»som, steadfastly 
Careering t<i the sea. A sj»irit moves 
^Vmidst the silk c»f gildeil drawing-nx >ms 
And in lab.irious homes, vdih equal voice 
It summons us to labour and to prayer, — 
To hilnmr which w prayer, and which alone 
Can solve the cjuestion which the age demands. 



LILIAN S SECOND LETTER. 165 

" \\ hat is a woman's right, and fitting sphere ? " 

How best she may, with free and willing mind, 

Develope every special genius, 

lietauiing and peifeeting eveiy charm 

And sweetness smig of old, so, evenpaced, 

Walk in a joint obedience with man, 

And equal freedom of the law of God, 

Up to the height of an immortal hope. 

Vainly would any poet, tho' he own'd 

The ** double-nature " of the poet breed, 

Paint the completed circle of her powers. 

Whose geims await the future, undisclosed. 

What she will be, she can alone define. 

Nor knows she yet, but, dimly feeling, strives 

To gain the fair ideal ; what she will do 

Is folded in her nature, as the flower 

Is folded in the bud, or masteqnece 

Of statuary in marble. !She is not 

Like some dead animal whose nen'es and veins. 

Bones, muscles, fimctions, ])0wers and highest use 

Can be defined by an anat(»mist 

Brooding above her ^^'ith a shaqieu'd knife. 

Suppose some ^mall i>hilosopher declared 
** Man is a creature framed to such an end. 
And this is his ideal, which attained 
He yviU not top ; this is the possible 
Of his caj^acity, |»erhaps a fact 
At which ambitious stnigglere will reb<l. 
But none less true for that, let him sit down 
And swallow it in silence." — Witness all. 
That this is said of women every day. 
Diverse in nature, with unsparing creed 



10<» SUMMER SKETCHES. 

They limit hers, unseeing where it tends. — 
Girdle with iron bands the sapling tree, 
It shoots into defoiinity, but He 
. Who first its feeble breath of life inspired, 
Ordain'd its growth by an interior law 
To full development of loveliness, 
Whereof the planter wots not till he leaves 
It to the kindly care of elements 
And the free seasons' change of storm and shine. 
Not for a moment would I undenate 
That sweet ideal which has chann'd the world 
For ages, and will never cease to charm. 
Fair as the creatures of an upper sphere. 
Women among the chanties of home 
Walk noiseless, undcfiled ; ah ! who would wi.sli 
To turn from tliis green fertilizing coiu^e 
Such rills of promise ! let each amplify 
In its ovm proper measure far and wide, 
According to its bounty : sacred be 
The radiant tresses of such ministei*s. 
And beautiful their feet ; but with my voice. 
And with my pen, and with mine uttermost. 
I say this is not all, and even this, 
This loveliest life to hidden music set, 
Must be a blossom (tf spnntaneous gi*owth. 
Must spring fnmi a]>titude and natural use 
Of gracrions deeds, not hardly forced on all 
As the sole good and fit, lest it decay 
L'lider the pressure to a loathsome thing. 
A thing of idleness and sensuous mind. 
At which the angels weep. If this Ik; all. 
Speak, thou true heart, out from the hungry nea 
Which 8uck*d thee down just in thy fruit of life. 



Lilian's second letter. i67 

Speak, wife and mother, from that immai-k'd grave 

Which those so vainly seek who loved thee well, 

Sj^eak, rather, Margaret, from thy seat in heaven, 

WTiei-e thon, in knowledge lai-ger, but in love 

Scarce more perfected, dost those days recall 

Spent in strong aspiration and pursuit 

Of dim ideals, now reveal'd in full. 

With shape sustain'd and meanings more di^-ine. 

Ah, could I give thy dear and honour'd name 

Some little tribute, who wert brave and bold. 

And faithful, as are few ! 'T is a small thing, 

An easy thing, to write such vdtty words 

As Lowell wrote of thee ; 't is a hard thing, 

A roj-al thing, to live so kind a life, — 

Dying, to leave so dear a memoiy. 

And such a want where thou wast wont to be. 

Now let these earnest martyi-s, and this hope 

Wliich ferments roimd, one special prayer suggest : 

That, as the foimdens of a colony 

(.^rcate a nation's heart, so we, who strive 

For the foimdation of a principle, 

May work with pure hands and a clean heart, 

Kegarding nought as trivial ; bo it said, — 

As of those noble hearts who left their laud 

And planted a new empire ^^^th the seeds 

Of piety and strength, — ** they very much 

Did labour for the world, and the mere rights 

Of man amidst his fellows, but, with zeal 

Far more inclusive, gave their lives to God." 

To this intent 
We chatted for an hour, each answering each 
With lighter accents than I here record, 



168 SUMMER SKETCHES. 

For the free flow of conversation plaj's 

With such a subtle change and counterchange, 

No i^en, at least not mine, could take it do^vn, 

More than camera paint the fleeting hues 

And delicate variations of a face 

\\ hen all the soul 's awake. Therefore I give 

The sum of what we said ; to keep you in 

The current of our lives, and you may find 

The rest in youi' imagination 

And knowledge of the speakers. 

Lo, the sun 
Rode high in July heavens, and Ella rose. 
And from the open door look'd o'er the green 
Which slept in summer warmth. Straightway she 
quoth — 

** Nonsense, what 's to do to-daj' ? 

These fine visions arc hut play 

Till they stiffen into deed. 

Till the blossom cro^vns the seed. 

I to-day must catch the hue 

Of a fir-tree 'gainst tlie blue, 

Lilian, you must write a pi»em 

With these visions for a jiroem. 

So with pencil and with pen 

We must translate our thoughts to men." 

" No," said I, ** I shall not pen 
Any of these thoughts for men. 
My life luis had tco small a scope 
To waniint any st»bcr hoi»e 



LILIAN'S SECOND LETTER. 169 

That any poem I could frame 
Should meiit such a sounding name. 
Thei-e is a story which, if told, 
Might have an interest manifold, 
Simpl}' those things we think and do, 
Tlie daily life of * I and you ; ' 
Which, were it told in plainest words. 
Might stiike some sjTnpathetic chords, 
At least in Qxery woman's heart ; 
Nor would I seek profounder art 
Than shoukl convey it truly, so 
Some honest love of truth might grow 
Where fiction long has taken ix>ot, 
Swa^dng iN-ith sAvay most absolute." 

Ah, how much deeper, more sincere, 
More full of serious hope and fear. 
Alive to fun and apt for \vitj 
It is than song has painted it ! 
Thou fearless voice whose echo fills 
Not only thine own moorland hills, 
But dt»st compel the world to hear, 
To smile thy smile and weep thy tear. 
And thy revealings learn with ruth, 
Depicting thine o^\^^ side of truth ; — 
Tliou, five, yet vow'd to duty, ])ui*e 
Yet anient, and of fooling sure, 
Seeking in life the law which lies 
Not hidden to desiring eyes. 
Thou, stn^ng in sinil and keen of ken, 
Keei>est a conscience in thy jwn ; 
Where my oxi»erience meets not thine. 
Thou and my heart have made it mine. 

\ 1 



170 SUMMER SKETCHES. 

Often as to tlij page I turn 
The livL:*3 words before me bum, 
And all my spirit thrills and strives 
Up to the height of noble lives. 

** Nay, let us talk these things beneath 
The heai-t-inspiring firs of Leith." 

Di-agging Latin, long and slow. 
Should paint the pace at which we go ; 
Students of the world of art 
Ti-undling onwards in a cart ; 
Poor small pony, lank and thin. 
Surely expiates some sin 
Committed in a himian state. 
Trudging on resigned to fate. 
Women will not beat an ass, — 
** Tempt him on ivith freshest grass." 
I'p the hill and o'er the stones 
On he goes, a bag of bones, 
Chorus'd by pci-suasive groans ; 
Till ujwn the top he stands, 
(.'umfoi-ted by sticking hands. 

Loith lias firs and fields of fern, 
Teachings which we all can leam ; 
Never anthems more divine 
Swell'd from church of saints' design. 
\Vhen amidst those spin}" firs 
Suddenly the west wind stirs, 
*T is like some Eolian time 
Chanted to the advancing moon. 



LILIAN'S SECOND LETTER. 1 7 1 

When the south wind swells and falls, 
T is like the lutes in heavenly halls. 
When the north wind raves and i-ushos, 
And the clouds together crushes. 
It is like the echo driven 
Backward from the gates of heaven, 
When the angels, unaccurst, 
In a stoi-m of glory burst. 

Soft \n.th spines the groimd beneath. 
Sweet the air with peiiumed breath. 
Bluest blue the sky above them. 
Fair are fire to all that love them ! 
Grand and spiritual trees, 
None have meanings such as these. 
All their long dependent boughs. 
Arms aloft which each one throws. 
All their depth of blackness, dark 
Relieved against a golden baik. 
All their jagged, snapt beginnings, 
(Like our short-comings and sinnings,) 
Ilcavenwai-d shoots and eailhly leanings. 
Seem to make them full of meanings, 
Steeji'd with life in every feature. 
And I love them like a creature. 

WTien we reach*d tlie highest slopes, 

Ella, firt'd with sudden hopes 

Of covering an enormous block. 

Settled do^vn upon a rock 

Which jutted thro' the turfy ground, 

Stro^-'d a whole shop of goods around. 



172 SUMMER SKETCHES. 

And, save one scant lialf-liour to eat 

Our basketful of bread and meat, 

Sat silently among the flowei-s. 

And painted for eight mortal hours. 

But, as for me, I chose a knoll 

\Vhence were a stone let di-op, 't would roll 

Fathoms into the plain below ; 

And there the west wind munnur*d so, 

And the blue forest, far away. 

Melted to such a tender giey 

Against the do^vns, with gleams of chalk. 

That, being luidisturb'd by talk, 

And as the sunshine, bright and hot, 

Lay goldenly upon this spot, 

Then lost itself amidst the deep 

Fir shadow, why, — I went to sleep. 

And in that sleep the healing breath 

Which sweci>8 the world at war with death. 

Stole over me, and lull'd the pain 

Which eats into an anxious brain. 

The flowers on tliat hill-side which be 

Gave some of their sweet life to me. 

1 have a fancy that the sun 

Kegenerates what he looks uix)n, 

And love to loiter in his rays 

Tliro* the wanu length of sununer days. 

Some power >\'ith which the god *8 endued 

Hendere me Iwiek to life renewed. 

When first 1 open'd infant eyes 

He rode his highest in the skies. 

Hie amber softness of his light 

liong-lingering in the summer night. 



173 



And when the life-streams ebb and flow 
Within, I bask beneath his glow, 
Renew the covenant framed before, 
And the waim currents run once more. 

I wish that I had words as grand 

As those which flow'd from Humboldt's pen, 

To paint this southern England, plann'd 

Long ere earth's consummation, — Men. 

VThen some great river, broad and deep 

As Niger or as Ganges be. 

Sought some gixjat silent continent 

Embedded in the primal sea. 

The Saurian of gigantic breed 

Play'd lazily about its banks. 

But no mild mother nursed her 3'oimg, 

Nor song-bird chanted forth its thanks. 

Silent and slow the river mn, 

And gatlier*d up the threaded rills. 

And suck'd the life from ghussy pools 

Calm lying on a thousand hills. 

Tlie trojiic tices that on them grew. 

And all the lush luxuriance bi*ed 

Amidst the solitude, decay M, 

And newer forests rear'd their head. 

And all these things the river nursed, 

Then bt>re them tombwanl on her breast, 

And made their graves within her siinds : 

Their fossil forms ixjvcal the rest. 

Until, at the a]>|K>inted time, 

The uncomplaining hills declined, 

And all their IxMiuty sank away, 

Fnwept save of the whisjxsring wind. 



174 SUMMER SKETCHES. 

Saurian and fern and tropic palm 
Congeal'd to stone, while silently, 
Unstirring in its awfid deptlis. 
Above them roU'd the reef-starr'd sea. 

Fidl of these thoughts, as evening fell 
Dovoiward we slowly went our way, 
Over the fields a distant bell 
Proclaimed a dii*ge fur ** parting day." 
The moon came slanting thro' the firs. 
Mist gather'd nnnid the pond-side flags, 
The little boy (who call'd us '* sirs,") 
Trotted beside us with the bags. 
Till the faint light the tapers cast 
WaiTi'd us of nearing home at last. 
And now before I go to bed 
Shall but one gentle woixl bo said. 

Oh dear to me is China tea, 
Indeed I think none like it 1 natter, 
But far more fragrant to a vagrant 
Poet is a London letter! 

Let roses hang midst hazel twigs 

I '11 jnifr them like a si>ec'ial pleader, 

But in my heart, to geese or jugs 

I much prefer the ** Times " or ** Leader! ' 

Dearer than any ancient song 
The chapters of our modem story, 
(l^nt I >\'ritc wliis|>cringly, among 
llie.se woods the very flowers are Tory I) 



Lilian's second letter. 175 

In this calm innocent retreat, 

While grass is being cock'd and ricked, 

It is so very nice to sit, 

And chew the cud of something wicked ! 

And know that if the people knew 
The thing that one was really thinking, 
The village candles would bum blue. 
And all the cats would take to winking ! 

Therefore, O Post Boy I hither come, 
Saci*ed the dust upon thy shoes. 
Tell us the deeds they do at home. 
And all the cream of London news ! 

LILIAN. 
.Inly, 1853. 



I .\ 



( nc ; 



HELEN'S ANSWER. 



Dear Lilian, 

Here amidst this " smoky town " 
I scarce shall ^vlite an answer to your mind, 
Who, looking back on London with the eyes 
Of a glad poet wash'd in country- dew, 
See the poetic side of ever^'thing, 
While I see chiefly prose. 

But I conceive 
The sort of hunger after puhlic things 
Which you and Ella under the hedgerows 
Begin to feel, and so herewith I send 
A batch of last week's i^ajjcrs, not the sanu* 
You have been jwetising over, but 
A regiment of the vanguaixl, gallant files. 
Forlorn hojxss of Progression. Hero *s the ** Tna.'* 
Chiefly by brave New England women i>enu\l 
In favour of their movement, and the stream 
Of good ideas flowing from their midst. 
It has a most uncomfortable title. 
For our i)lain nation likes plain words and mund. 
And here some such are neeiled. I include 



HELEX S ANSWER 17 

A few Stray copies of the Liberator, 
And Wendell Phillips' s^^eech. 

The other sheets 
Report associative experiments 
Among the tailors, and a meeting held 
Anent the next Eefoini-Bill. Here 's enough 
To put you under excommimication 
Of all the village, if they did but know. 
And make you blush amidst your walks, who wish 
To change that calmly agricultural mind 
By innovations strange and teiiible. 
Now, as to me, my days in even course 
Run thro* the usual roimd of work ; I paint 
From mom to eve, from mom to eve again, 
Striving against tlie hinderance of time 
And all the weight of custom ; and I %vill, 
I tell you, Lilian, that I will succeed. 
Last night I read your letter, and I thought 
How different are your words from what they weiv 
In this gi*eat Babel, when j'oiu' soul seemed faint 
At all the smoke and noise. The very war 
Of thought opix)8ing thought, and wills that sti-ive 
Each against each in the metroiwlis, 
Blinds the keen sight of where the field is won. 
And measure of the victor}', and we doubt 
If Right indeed is Might. You could not se*? 
The hoi>e and glorj' of the Future, that 
Which on the faces of her warriors 
So often seems to shine. Dear Lilian, 
Since the spint of Life sits light %vithin 
The temple of your being, and you draw 
Such pictures for me of the outward world. 



178 SUMMER SKETCHES. 

Take, my dear poet, the true lesson home, 

And when yon are impatient (as j'-on are 

Most often) at the dirt which clogs the wheels,; 

And the slow ripening of the better time, 

Bethink thee then what processes were wrought 

(As you to me but lately did recall, 

Painting the landscape from the Firs of Leith,) 

Thro' silent ages, patient and unsung. 

Ere this grand sjTnmetry of Nature, shaped 

Into completest beauty, j'-eam'd for love, 

And brought forth Adam, he both flower and seed, 

A fail* suggestion of th' intent of Time. 

Tlie sea, once a devouring conqueror, 

Waa brought into subjection, held in chains 

Of subtle but inflexible restraint 

By Her that walks in Heaven, he foams in vain, 

And gnaws the bounds he may not overstep. 

The thousand forces that inspire the trees. 

Breaking to life in diverse beauty, mix 

And fashion the minutest tracery 

Of elms against the sky in la^^'fulness 

And strict obedience to \mheard decrce. 

(Distinctly heard by them.) We see the \NTecks 

Of pre-ordain' d confusion, step by step 

Wc trace the broken thoughts of centuries, 

Which had a crude intelligence like ours 

Watch*d in their changes, it luid been dismaj*'d. 

And dceni*d no ^^'^ll presided o'er the whole. 

Nor an}' ceaselessly evolving plan, 

Whose working we call IVovidence. And lo ! 

No blade of gi*as8 winm a jungled hill. 

No cnuubling stmdbauk long decay'd to dust, 

No strange enjoying monster of the deep, 



HELEN S ANSWER. 179 

But acted in a tliousand complications 

On all that followed after ; and we speak 

And act, think, move, smile, weep and pi-ay 

Otherwise than we should do, being men, 

And closely knit unto the elements. 

Had not some wind, evoked in ages past, 

Swept like an organ blast about the tops 

Of some great forest long since tum'd to coal, 

Then mutter'd into silence. And where gi-ew 

These large-leaved forests of the elder time. 

A busy population darkens day, 

And makes the night alive -^-ith ruddy fires ; 

While these two facts ten thousand years divide 

Are linked in one directest sequency, 

Effect that follows cause. 

Shall we not wait 
In patient expectation, and go do^^*n 
To solitary' gi-avcs ivith joj-fulncss, 
Ivnowing that as this last creation, Man, 
Is nobler than all others, he shall be 
Matured at gi*eator cost, more gi-adual caix5, 
Sway'd to and fro in oscillativc change 
Of wider segments ? Eat thy bread in hope, 
If thou wouldst nourish thee for action. Faith 
Never yet faiVd her children, but Dcsjuiir 
Has held the feet of many, and deban*'d 
Pilgrims from entering on the promised land. 
If thou dost noiuish in thee that best hope, — 
(Dearest of all ambitions heart can frame,) 
To be a ^xjople's poet, — it demands 
A faith beyond the people's to sustain. 
AMicn we are dull and faint, let us sit down 



180 SUMMER SKETCHES. 

Submissive to inaction, let ns use 

All brighter honiB as golden weaponry 

To forward the good cause, and if we die 

We know the spirit of this stirring time 

Will seize some other starker instruments 

Without a moment's pause. Not on one man. 

Had he the Prussian Frederick's iron will 

Or Mirabeau's big heart, could rest the weight 

Of England's progress now ; the hour is come 

When only he who serves shall safely rule. 

In the interests of all. Men are awake. 

They drink the grandest thoughts that wisdom speaks. 

And profit by them, £ix)m the crowded town. 

From country cottages and lone sea-coast. 

And midland woods they come, a nobler race 

Of thoughtful Saxons, individual lords 

Over themselves and o'er the world of mind. 



WTien thro' the vortex of these London street** 
Amidst this tide of life I wend my way, 
AMiich seems to catch a ver}- quietness 
From its unbroken speed, often I think 
Of how thrice glorious is the time we live in. 
How ri^KJ in promise and how rich in dee<l. 
Thank God I was Ixini now ! I watch %Wth lovi* 
That is a imssion all the da^Miing life 
Which England nourishes, and often dream 
Of those far-peopled realms l>eyond the sea 
Which owe all to her blood, sit at the feet 
Of her old poets, and which, whether bound 
By her ti-adition'd law or their o\^^l wills, 
Most trulv are her sons. I could not die 



Helen's answer. i81 

And lose all knowledge of my countiy's fate ; 

But hope, with that strong hope which seems to bring 

Promise of its fulfilment, that mj soul 

Shall live in this keen interest even as now. 

That as the scroll on which the storied past 

Is Aviit, another and another length 

Unfolds to light, my eyes may see them all, 

The history of the future, hid as j^et 

Deep in the will of God. It seems to me 

Did the dear ties which weave about me now 

Of many-threaded love to dust decaj-. 

And I were left alone, I could live on, 

After the shrinking of the natural heaii, 

Absorb'd in England's work and full of peace. 

And yet, perhaps I know not, — 



But good night. 
We need not speculate on barren hours 
Which to the loving come not, for we rear 
The golden flowers of autumn on those gi-aves 
We turfd in early spring, and the good life 
Which scatters seeds of kindness is repaid 
By fragrant gro^vths of love. 



The streets ai-e hushM, 
Save where some wanderer's footfall breaks the night. 
Bearing its weight of life ; as oft before, 
I sit alone with silence and the thoughts 
ANTiich yon great company of ix>ets sang 
Long, long ago, ere they, too, went to join 
The harmonies of heaven. Mv heart is hush'd, 



182 SUMMER SKETCHES. 

And lays itself before the feet of God, 

Willing to beat His time. On your thick woods, 

And softly veiling all the firs on Leith, 

The darkness falls like dew, all London lies 

Like some calm child asleep. And so good night. 

HELEK. 



( 183 ) 



TO A WHITE OXALIS. 



The sun on Sussex hills shone bright 
When fii-st I saw thy dainty white 
Amidst their valleys glowing ; 
** What is this flower so dainty white, 
A>? lx)ni to be a maid's delight ?" 
** It is by clo^^^ls woodson*el higlit 
ITiou see'st before thee glowing." 

(Jxalis books have christen'd it, 
Which silver sound doth much befit 
Its fair and fragile Ixjauty ; 
A drop of snow left late in spring, — 
A lady such as ix)ets sing, — 
Likens this flower, — or anything 
Made more for love than dtity. 

Oh! fur away from Sussex hills, 

A northeni light this valley fills; 

As these hnnid slopes rfcu<le away 

E^stwanl to gi'eet the daNMi of day. 

Their opening depths disclose to view 

No shining tracts of level blrte. 

Hut heath-cnAMi'd scarps jut bleak and pale 

W heie Wharf's bright water threails the vah\ 



184 TO A WHITE OXALIS. 

Yet when thy darlmg foiin I see, 

This outer world fades back from me, 

New loves, new hopes, new thoughts depart 

The living tablets of my heart, 

WTiich only those soft woods rei>aint 

Wliose purple tints are never faint. 

Oh liappy home, now home no more I 
Oh Form that Time will not restore ! 
Oh blessed dreams then bom in me 
WTio dwelt beside the sounding sea, 
WTiich seemed to throb with travail-moan, 
A miglity heart against my oyra. 
As if 't would momently reveal 
Tlie secrets life and death conceal. 

All, now I know that earth and sky 
Will never yield a mystery 
To those who seek for wisdom's ways 
Amidst the calm of recluse days. 
For ever threatening to disclose 
The depths of heaven in sunset shows. 
Nightly the promise dies away, 
Tlie golden curtains fade to grey, 
We fiiucy troops of angels rise, 
And only find — the silent skies. 

Where life's great interests interchange 
Dominion, ^^^th the ^\'ideHt range, — 
Wlicrc old men die and babes are bom 
To earth'K great trial night and mom, — 
By working with a faitliful will 
In complex spheres of good and ill, — 



TO A WHITE OXALIS. 185 

Accepting meekly all the pain 

Of stumbling but to i-ise again, — 

By holding our best faith secure, — 

Keeping love's precious fountains piue. 

Thus only can the spirit grow 

With ampler power to feel and know ; 

By those sharp lessons wisely taught 

Where deeds of human will are Avi-ought, 

Within whose narrow compass lie 

The seeds of an eternity ; - 

For earth and sky shall pass away 

WTien human beauty shrinks to clay, 

Far tracks of space demand in vain 

Dead comets, yet shall man i*emain. 

llierefore, sweet messenger and friend. 

As dovm this lovely lane I wend, 

\Mien thy calm snowj- buds I see, 

I know my path lies not by thee. 

But where the stream of Nations meets 

An echo in dark London streets. 

I leave thee groiN'ing wliere thou art, 

I bear thy i>4>rtniit in my heart, 

Set in thy place by Hand divine 

As thou fill'st it so I would niin«.'. 



( 186 ) 



THE DUKE'S FUNERAL 



The sti-eets are clear'd, the crowd restrain'd- 
A mutter rises, ** Lo they come ! " 
As far away, a sliadowy scene, 
The first battalions dimly seen 

March to the muffled diiun. 

ITiey a^vo\\ upon the straining sight. 
Deep silence holds the thousands there, 
Broken but by that measured ti*cad 
And measured beat which mounis the dead. 
While awe pervades the air. 

Now rank by rank they slow advance. 
Rich music links the lengthening chain. 
As one melodious plaint subsides 
Another into hearing glides, 

^Vnd sinks to sleep again. 

It seems as if whatever voice 
To mourning, music ever gave. 
In the great requiem all conspire. 
Alternating in rival choir. 

To sing him to his grave. 



THE DUKE S FUNERAL. 187 



The curtain'd vapours roll aside, 
The sun would see this last display 
Of England's love for her dear son, 
And gives to honour Wellington 

A much unwonted ray. 



And as the clocks tell out the horn-, 
And each from each catch up the tale, 
Some vision of eternity, 
And judgments passed on those who die, 
May well make gazers pale. 



Now as he journeys to the gitive 
We will not praise him oveimuch ; 
Before that throne where mercy sits, 
A modest silence best befits 

Creatures imploring such. 



But in so far as earth may give 
Her honour and her love 
For such a life of noble deeds. 
-fVs, measui*ed by, fulfilled her needs. 
It will be known above. 



And God, who weighs this man's desert, 
Km»ws eveiy tear by England shed, 
Forgets not all she could recoimt. 
Nor fails to reckon the amount 

By which she weeps him, dead. 



188 THE duke's FUNBKAL. 

It is not bronze with laurel strew'd, 
Nor silver-starr'd and voiceful pall, 
Nor that small coffin gliding by, 
AVhich England gives him, shotild she sigh 
To think that this is all — 



Which she can give, or he receive. 
Say, ^^ nOf she gives a glorious grief. ^* 
She gave him love, as day by day 
He paced along the ac'cnstom'd way. 
She gives it now to Death. 



All honour which she could devise 
She gave with an ungrudging hand ; 
If his transfigured head looks down 
On these great sjTnbols of rono^^'n 

Which England's sorrow plann'd. 

He will bc'hold the true intent, 
.Vnd know that thro' this mighty throng 
More thought than of this funeral car, 
M<»re praiKti than show those ranks of war. 
Arc bearing him along. 

'llic coffin and the car recede, 
They fade from simshine into gloom ; 
llio solemn transit he completes. 
While over the deserted streets 

Tlie hea-vy cannons boom. 



THE DUKE S FUNERAL. 189 

\\ here Paul's gold cross salutes the sky. 
And towers above the burden'd air 
Full of the to\m's great hum, and looks 
On all its densest dreariest nooks, 

We 11 lay the hero there. 

It shall be headnstone to the Duke, 
We need not write his name thereon, 
England is mindful of her debt, 
Xor will from age to age foi-get 

Here lieth \\'eluxgtox. 



( 190 ) 



THOUGHTS ON GOD'S ACRE. 



Calm graves, whereon the western light 
And long fir shadows fall. 
While t\vilight in the purple east 
Unfolds her silver pall, 
WTierevrtth she covens that hush'd earth 
By Death's light footsteps trod, 
Do you, of all this gloriousness. 
Alone belong to God ? 

They say He holds a balanced scale 

To measure Earth and Heaven, 

And renders for what eailh M-ithholds 

A iwrtion more than even ; 

But tho' wc strive to live by this. 

And nurse a faith sublime. 

No man who trusts Eternity 

Denies a prayer to Time. 

Not always must otir darling earth 

Be Slotted with decay, 

She Ixjai-s a promise on her brow. 

Fulfil it when she may. 

Not always shall she sacrifico 

The dearest sotils she rears, 

And give them hopes beyond her own 

To cheat the heart of tears. 



THOUGHTS OX 150D S ACKE. 191 

But perfectness return to her. 

And all her children know 

That even as God reigns above. 

He also reigns below. 

No space be ban-'d apait for Him, 

With cypress in it sown. 

But all which bounds humanit}^ 

Be His and natui^'s own. 



( 192 ; 



THE BALLAD OF THE KING'S DAUGHTER. 



[How the King's Daughter, having married me a peasant for 
love, heareth of the death of her only brother, and taketh her 
little 8on to the King.] 

She twisted up her royal lengths 

Of fallen hair with a silver pin, 
Her eyes were frowning, molten depths 

Which stirr'd to flame when I look'd within ; 

Dress'd in a. gown of velvet, black, 
With a diamond clasp, and a silver band, 

Walk'd from the door with a stately step. 

And our young son held by his mother's hand. 

Walter ran by his mother's side 

More like in his eyes to her than me. 
The Queen would have barter'd her ivory throne 

For such a blossom of royalty. 

Heavily over the far-hill tops 

Booms the bell in the minster tower. 
From city to city between the hills 

Echo the bells at the bunal hour. 

** Amen ! " saith the bough in the ten-milo forest, 
** Amen ! " saith the sea from its cavernous bed, 

** Amen ! " saith the people when bow'd at the sorest, 
** Who is dead ?" said the rooks, *' who is dead ? 
who is dead ? " 



193 



The young man is dead, in his strength, in his beauty. 
His curls lie loose on his white-finnged pall ; 

Loud ciy the people and priests at the altar, 
Soft wails the requiem over them aU. 

Low in the midst of the Church of the Merciful 
Lieth the young man, — gone to his rest, 

His sword is sheath'd and his coronet broken. 
Flowers of yesterday cover his breast. 

** Babe, child, brave youth," wept the Queen in her 
closet, 

" Heir of my name," sigh'd the King on his throne, 
" Who leads us to battle? " cried they of the market^ 

'* My lover," look'd one face as cold as a stone. 

Slow toU'd the bells from the north to the southern 
sea, 

Winds caught them up with a desolate cry. 
Solemn he lies under darkening arches. 

The hand of eternity press'd on each eye. 



PART IL 

The market-cross, with its sculptured Christ, 

Mid the crush and the trample stood steady and 
strong, 

The welded masses of voiceless folk 
As a sea at midnight roU'd along. 



194 THE BALLAD OF THE KTN'G'S DAUGHTER. 

Booming bells, as they struck the ear. 

Died away in the silent skies ; 
Gossiping women were dmnb with fear. 

And each gabled house was alive with eyes. 

But lo ! in the distance a shadowy file, 
They move to the beat of a muffled di-um, 

The waves recede as for Isiuel's march, 

And the thick crowd mutters, ** They come, ihey 
come." 

A\Tiere the bier was borne by the central fount. 

She stood as still as the carven stone. 
Saying, *' O King, behold my boy. 

His smile is the dead's, and his eye is your o^ii. 

** From my broad domain in one true man's heart. 
From the home I chose of mine own free will, 

I give you my jewel to wear in your crown." 
Then snatohing him back for one last long fill 

Of his rippling smiles, they heard her say. 
With a haughty glance at her marriage ring, 

** Well is my home by the foix3ster's hearth. 
But Walter, my son, is the heir of a king!" 

When the shadows fell on our quiet \xKt\, 
And the birds were asleep in the firn overhead, 

She retum'd alone, but her face was white, 

And her step as the sto]) of one waked from the 
dead. 



LONDON: PRrNTFD BT W. CLOWV AM» W)>ff, i^AMPtiRt* KTRRICT. 
AM> CHAKIM: CMiWWt. 



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